Sky News has finally bowed to pressure and sacked controversial host Mark Latham. The former Labor leader had his contracted terminated after a string of offensive gaffes, the latest where he called a Sydney schoolboy “gay” for appearing in an International Women’s Day video.
Latham was already in the bad books with network bosses after another incident on Sunday where he called media personality Wendy Harmer a “female with a disability” and she could only be employed at the “sheltered workshop” that was the ABC. It has been reported that Harmer is threatening to sue Latham over the comments.
Last week, Latham also called former NSW Premier Kristina Keneally a “protege” of Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid who was jailed for corruption last December. It is also understood that Keneally has threatened to sue Latham for defamation.
According to media reports, Latham arrived for duty at the Sky offices yesterday and was hauled in front of management who gave him his marching orders.
Sky News CEO Angelos Frangopoulos tweeted of Latham’s removal. “I have today advised Mark Latham that his contract has been terminated,. While we support strong opinions and robust arguments we pride ourselves in doing so in a civil and respectful manner.”
The final straw for Sky bosses appears to have been the “gay”slur of a Sydney student. During his Sky News show on Sunday, Latham said he thought Hugh Bartley, Sydney Boys High School captain, was possibly gay after he fronted a social media video involving the school.
“I thought he was gay. Well, yes, who wouldn’t think that? Only later in the video did it become clear the students were reciting the words of women as part of some strange social media presentation,” Latham said live to air.
The former Labor leader is said to be on an $80,000 a year parliamentary pension for life and will continue with the column he writes for Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph.