SKY News sacks John Mangos

By David Knox on June 19, 2011 / Filed Under Pay TV 24

SKY News has sacked presenter John Mangos after comments made during Paul Murray Live two weeks ago were labelled as racist.

Mangos had presented a news item about a man in China who won a big lottery payout but disguised himself as Spiderman when accepting the cheque to conceal his identity.

Mangos told Paul Murray, “I don’t know why he bothered. I mean, I can tell you now — he’s Chinese. He’s got straight black hair and he’s got squinty eyes and yellow skin.”

A speechless Murray then replied, “That would be a very rough description.”

Mangos later apologised saying, “On the Paul Murray program last night I made some off-the-cuff remarks about a Chinese lottery winner.

“The remarks were meant to be light-hearted and under the pressure of live TV my words were poorly chosen. In hindsight I can see they could offend and I apologise unreservedly for what I said.

“I am an Australian of overseas background myself and I am sorry for causing offence to anyone.”

Mangos was subsequently suspended but The Australian today reports that SKY CEO Angelos Frangopoulos had a lengthy telephone conversation with him about not renewing his contract and that it is an amiable parting after 15 years of “fantastic work”.

Frangopoulos and  Mangos both denied he was sacked via a text message which referred to email advice.

Mangos has given media a letter of support from the Chinese community which note his support in raising funds for business associations, and compering private functions for the Chinese community.

24 Comments »

  1. jan July 6, 2011 at 1:07 pm -

    i do Not agree with sky not renewing Mangos’s contract all because he said what he said, Where has freedom of speech gone in Australia, that’s what we want, that’s what we like, we like a person speeking there mind, that’s what makes us Australian, if they sack him i will not watch sky ever again,
    This is my opinion on the subject.

    from Jan and Jody,

    p.s. Mangos does a great job, he wasn’t offending anyone.

  2. Ag bullet June 21, 2011 at 6:27 pm -

    As a broadcaster, we all say things we later regret to a certain degree. Yet, we are encouraged by management to be ‘edgy’. Being spoken about, good or bad, seems to be applauded behind closed doors of management. In John’s case, being a newsreader is his downfall.

  3. Rach June 21, 2011 at 4:48 pm -

    … and what if he had said, “I can tell you now I know he is Caucasian because he is has white skin, fair hair and blue eyes” is that racist too??

    hhmmm sounds to me like a description!

  4. George June 21, 2011 at 12:45 pm -

    The PC police have done it again – destroyed a persons career over a flimsy issue.

    The comments were not offensive maybe inappropriate but definitely not racist.

    Mangos should be re-instated.

  5. Jason June 21, 2011 at 9:11 am -

    Agree totally with Sky News decision. Racisim and any form of discrimination on any public network/arena cannot be tolerated. By accepting any forms of discrimination in a public arena present to the world world that Australia really doesn’t care.

  6. josh June 20, 2011 at 8:40 pm -

    The bigger question here…
    Is this the type of rubbish news stories SKY plans on serving up if they win the Australia Network deal?

  7. Allie June 20, 2011 at 1:03 pm -

    Rightfully sacked for this atrocious comment. It is simply not OK to say stuff like that on TV. The casual attitude towards racism in this country is so bad and we are known worldwide for being an openly racist people. John saying this kind of thing on TV just compounds the view that the rest of the world has of us as being bigoted rednecks.

  8. mac June 20, 2011 at 12:43 pm -

    while i agree his comments were offensive, to me his it seem to be more of a bad joke that outright hate. it seems a bit extreme to end a 15 year career over, if that is in fact the sole reason his contract was not renewed. you would think that the letter from the chinese community would have been taking in to consideration from skynews.

  9. sam June 20, 2011 at 10:34 am -

    poor mangos- bring him back- how stupid……….

  10. rachel batta June 20, 2011 at 8:47 am -

    Very petty, Fox News, very Petty, Paul Murray should go he is worse

  11. Jeff Wilson June 19, 2011 at 11:42 pm -

    Tip toe through the tulips with me…what a crock

  12. fionak June 19, 2011 at 9:05 pm -

    I bet none of the people who think this isn’t racist aren’t Asian either.

    Saying this kind of stuff isn’t okay- it isn’t. He should have known better. Why would it even have even occurred to him to say it?

    At least Paul Murray had the decency to get embarrassed

    The clip of him saying this was picked up internationally (which was where I saw it- on an American news website). THe comments were full of people saying they’d met Australians/ lived here/ visited here and how shocked they were that people say this kind of thing all the time and think it’s okay. That’s our international image. Good natured and casually racist. It’s totally embarrassing.

  13. Buddha June 19, 2011 at 8:09 pm -

    I reckon both Dr black and Peter Young’s posts earlier are on the money.

    KRudd has to make an overdue decision about the Australia TV tender anytime now, while he’s in the country.
    And across the board, Foxtel these days has a younger urban look to it’s presenters.

    Having said that, and it pains me to say it, but John Mangos’ reading quality over several years has been very poor, with stumbles and very awkward delivery often with a puzzled look on his face. That, along with very forced, rather than quick, clever and sharp ad-libs with sports presenters, has made it difficult to watch him sometimes without squirming.
    JM’s not alone in this at Sky. Suzanne Latimore and occasionally Mike(?) Willisee are the same – all three more often than not come across as stilted, unnatural and very poor cousins to the FTA stations’ prime time readers.

    So there may be an element of question about JM’s on air performance that has been worrying Sky News’ management for a while and this recent event, along with the Aus TV and age issues might have been the catalyst to force their hand.

    Sometimes no matter who the presenter may be, if the he/she doesn’t have anything great to say, or have confidence in the ad-lib line they are thinking about delivering, it’s better and safer just to do a straight throw to the next presenter or item/break etc.

  14. David @ Green Point June 19, 2011 at 7:22 pm -

    Not so much a case of Big Brother is Watching… but Rupert sees All…

    think about it.

  15. Peter Young June 19, 2011 at 7:14 pm -

    Seems a huge overreaction for the crime. Is there perhaps an agenda to get rid of the ‘older’ Sky News anchors here? I remember when John Gatfield was turfed. Perhaps it’s an agenda against John’s? Watch out John Kerrison.

  16. Dean June 19, 2011 at 6:42 pm -

    On YouTube there is a video called “Australian news bloopers” – at around 8:08 John makes another unfortunate comment…

  17. Mr black June 19, 2011 at 6:11 pm -

    This has everything to do with Sky currently tendering for the Austalia Network deal. It’s not a good look to have a presenter making racist remarks whole you’re pitching to become the face of australia to the Asia pacific. The aus net deal will give em a lot of money from DFAT that could help sky fund more reporters in the region, thus strengthening their main channels output. It look like an over reaction to us, but inadvertently mangos put a lot of money at stake.

  18. Cleavy June 19, 2011 at 5:46 pm -

    Mangos is the best news presenter in the country. Hopefully another network snaps him up ASAP

  19. Alex Andrew June 19, 2011 at 5:14 pm -

    Why can’t someone fire our Prime Minister? This would be a more worthy sacking.

  20. tomothy June 19, 2011 at 5:10 pm -

    Yet another over reaction, yeah so the comment may have been inappropriate to some but seriously its not like he decided to go live on air and shout abuse at the entire Chinese community and their way of life. It was just a poor choice of words which only a small amount of people would have seen.

  21. David Knox June 19, 2011 at 4:25 pm -

    Link to video is in the story.

  22. Leon June 19, 2011 at 4:06 pm -

    Sky News has over-reacted to this situation.

    Alot of Twitterers to Paul Murray Live, the show which the incident occured on 2weeks ago will be protesting from tommorow night on #PMlive with #BringBackKingMangos in their traditional posts.

    The #PMlive twitters have asked Paul Murray to comment on this, so far no response.

  23. Kev June 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm -

    Jeez, that seems a bit extreme.

  24. cjschris June 19, 2011 at 3:38 pm -

    Is there a video of Mangos saying the racist comments?

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