Julian Morrow has said that the ABC interfered in Chaser skits following its reaction to the Make A Realistic Wish sketch.
At last night’s Andrew Olle Media Lecture Morrow spoke about the controversial chapter in the comedy show’s final season.
The lecture, which airs tomorrow night on the ABC, served as a right of reply for The Chaser in a much calmer media environment.
Despite the apology issued by The Chaser following the sketch, Morrow appears to have now qualified their statements.
Last night he says it was directed only at those who had been personally affected by childhood cancer.
”If you are one of those people, I want to reiterate my sincerest apology to you,” he said. ”But the next category – people who were offended by the sketch – is in my view different.”
He argued that ”the inevitable corollary to freedom of speech is that there is no such thing as a general right to not be offended. So to be honest, perhaps too honest, if you were just offended by that sketch I’m not really sorry.”
He urged the ABC not to give in to the ”short-term hysteria of media outrage” because it risks damaging its independence and integrity.
”Getting caught up in the short-term hysteria of media outrage has the potential to damage the independence and integrity of the ABC.”
The Make a Realistic Wish sketch caused a furore this year with widespread condemnation, argument, apologies, a suspension by the ABC and an executive losing some of their responsibilities.
Since then we’ve seen a flurry of other comedies with supposedly-offensive material. It’s been one of the hot topics to emerge in 2009.
The annual Andrew Olle Media Lecture is considered one of the most prestigious forums of its kind, and can be seen at 10:15pm tomorrow night on ABC1.