Kyle Sandilands’ broadside at News Limited journalist Alison Stephenson could not have come at a worse time.
Tomorrow is White Ribbon Day – the UN sanctioned day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
His remarks against Stephenson were insulting, abusive and threatening.
But it also comes at a time when it threatens to spoil Seven’s party.
On Saturday Seven will wrap up an astounding success of 40 weeks in Total People. It now risks finishing on an appalling footnote to the year.
Seven prides itself on being a family network that pitches to a broad Australian audience but it is seemingly burying its head in the sand.
On Monday it entertained Sandilands’ ambitions for his own primetime show.
But you can’t get into bed with an outspoken personality and then duck for cover when it goes awry.
Radio sponsors and Seven’s own personalities are doing a better PR job than Seven management.
“Obviously Kyle’s remarks showed an intolerable level of disrespect to Alison, and indeed disrespect for women, and a frightening undercurrent of hostility,” said Andrew O’Keefe.
“Victims of violence know well that verbal abuse can be just as harmful as physical abuse, and when the words are overlain with an aggressive sexism they are an attack on the dignity of all women.”
The Daily Telegraph reports retailer The Good Guys said, “The Good Guys does not condone the recent actions of Kyle Sandilands and has withdrawn breakfast sponsorship.”
Telstra was reviewing their association with 2DAYFM, saying “Obviously we want to align ourselves with certain values and behaviours.”
But Seven has so far stayed silent. Is this because the remarks were made on radio and not television?
By comparison, in 2009 when the radio duo hosted their infamous lie-detector stunt, TEN dropped him from Australian Idol.
In a statement it said, “Idol has remained a family-focused show, even more so this year with the 6.30pm Sunday timeslot. His radio persona has taken on a more controversial position … which is not in the interest of the show.”
Australia’s Got Talent has enjoyed exceptional success with a huge family audience.
Yet its judge is able to call a journalist “a piece of shit” in the public arena and the network has no comment?
Does. Not. Make. Sense.