Radio broadcaster Kyle Sandilands has ignored the media watchdog’s ruling over “insensitive and hurtful” statements he made on air about disabled athletes.
The host of KIIS 106.5 was told to undergo sensitivity training after he compared the Paralympics to the “Special Olympics” and said “it’s awful” some athletes do.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) released a report on Tuesday finding the radio station had breached its ‘decency requirement’ twice.
Speaking on air Wednesday, Sandilands said he was unaware of the law-breaking until he read about it in the newspaper that morning.
Going through the headlines, newsreader Brooklyn Ross told Sandilands, “You’re there,” and shock jock dismissed the story as a “bulls**t.”
Radio presenter Kyle Sandilands (pictured) has ignored a ruling by the media watchdog over “insensitive and hurtful” statements he made on air about disabled athletes
‘Yes I’m there. Kind of bulls a** there about something I didn’t even know. I still don’t know about it. One day I will find out.
His notes indicate that he did not begin the sensitivity training required by the ACMA.
Later in the broadcast, Sandilands joked that his staff needed sensitivity training after an outburst between executive producer Pedro Cocovillo and guest booker Jaimee ‘Mayo’ Blazquez.
He also made several jokes about his new “sensitive age” after the ACMA report, admitting at one point: “I can’t keep a straight face.”
The ACMA released a report on Tuesday that found KIIS 106.5 had violated its ‘fitness requirement’ twice. Speaking on air Wednesday, Sandilands said he was unaware of the code breach until he read about it in the paper that morning, calling the story a “bulls**t.”
The first breakthrough happened when Sandilands and host Jackie O. Henderson (pictured) spoke about the Paralympians on Sept. 1, 2021. Sandilands compared the Paralympics to the Special Olympics and said “it’s a horrible thing some athletes do”
The first breach occurred when Sandilands and host Jackie O. Henderson spoke about the Paralympians on September 1, 2021.
Have you been watching the Special Olympics? “It’s just awful about some things,” Sandilands said.
Poor guy ran high jump then swerved right because he was blind and fell on his butt to the ground.
Then, when they were playing soccer, I was blind, I was thinking, ‘Are you kidding? They throw themselves to the ground like sausages to fend off the ball.
“And I think well of you, I love the pageant spirit…but I feel…Jesus Christ…that’s a lot of effort.”
The ACMA report found that ‘the Paralympians in question were being mocked by Mr Sandilands, and that they had been mocked at the techniques used to participate and compete in their respective sport.
The ACMA is a regular listener of the programme, although it is tolerant of the show’s irreverent styles, it is still able to determine what is generally “acceptable” content, and who was most likely seen as a “fair target” of humor or satire in contemporary Australia. ”
Sandilands was also taken to task over comments he made about a journalist two days later on 3 September.
The journalist had reported the radio host’s remarks about the Paralympians.
The ACMA report found that ‘the Paralympians in question were being mocked by Mr Sandilands, and that they had been mocked at the techniques used to participate and compete in their respective sport. (Pictured: Jackie O’Henderson)
If you don’t have news, write about someone else who won’t follow through and chase it down and find out what really happened, because I’ve got a lot of time on my hands and a lot of money to make. “Things happen,” he said.
Get up, walk away, choose someone who doesn’t have the power to ruin your entire life. No, this is not a threat, this is a guarantee.
The ACMA dismissed a complaint that Sandilands “incited extreme contempt and ridicule” in his comments about the Paralympians.
“The ACMA considers that Mr. Sandilands’ comments, although deeply offensive, were likely to be viewed by the public as a reflection of his strong presentation style, rather than as an encouragement to others to espouse his views,” the report reads.
In light of these matters, although the ACMA considers that Licensee was broadcasting offensive material and mocking persons because of their disabilities, the ACMA does not consider that the high threshold test for potential incitement to “extreme ridicule” in a “reasonable listener” has been met, as required to breach this provision.”
HT&E, which owns KIISFM, argued in its filing that Sandilands was simply expressing “genuine amazement”.
The text read: ‘Mr Sandilands employs sympathetic language such as ‘poor man’ and ‘Jesus Christ, that’s a lot of effort’ which denotes an affectionate response to what he saw, as opposed to an aggressive or belligerent sentiment.
“(Sandilands’ comments) were not made in an offensive manner nor were they said to provoke others into participating in a derogatory attitude towards people with disabilities as a group.”
This isn’t the first time Sandilands has fallen into hot water over his comments after he suggested looters in Rio target Paralympic athletes over healthy athletes during the 2016 Paralympics.
He said that the disabled athletes participating in the Rio Paralympics were easier targets for theft.
“If I were a Rio thief, I would wait for the Paralympics to start,” he said.
The shock jock added, “It’s a much easier tag than a thoroughbred.”