TEN apology for GNW ‘Autism humour’

A joke by British comedian Russell Kane during Good News Week elicits complaints, a newspaper article and a network apology.

The TEN Network says a comment on last night’s Good News Week, which has come under fire today was addressed on the show by host Paul McDermott.

British comedian Russell Kane was describing his team’s performance against Paul McDermott in a previous comedy debate when he said, “We went at it like an Autistic kid at a drum and destroyed you.”

After a reaction from the audience, McDermott told Kane, “You can see they don’t like Autistic humour here.”

Only a handful of angry viewers vented their displeasure on the show’s website.

The Herald Sun quotes them as saying, “I have children with Autism and I know a lot of parents and friends who are disgusted with what was said and how Paul jumped in on it too.”

Another wrote “If it was pre-recorded…it should have been edited out.”

Autism Victoria is understood to have taken issue with the remarks, following additional complaints received today.

A spokesperson from TEN told TV Tonight, “We are sorry for any offence the Autistic comment may have caused but felt Good News Week host Paul McDermott’s immediate comment of ‘you can see they don’t like Autistic humour here’ made it clear it was a step too far.

“TEN is a strong supporter of Autism awareness. We are currently supporting the Alpha Autism campaign and we intend to increase our Community Service Announcement commitment for the AEIOU Foundation.

“We are also looking at opportunities to increase awareness of issues surrounding Autism through our regular programming line-up and will include a link on the Good News Week website for viewers who would like to get involved with an Autism support organisation.”

Last year GNW got into much bigger hot water when Magda Szubanski criticised cyclists, while Ben Elton copped some bad press in the UK for comments regarding the Royal Family.

Last year panellist Mikey Robins told TV Tonight, “Certain things are always going to offend people, but what’s been weird this year is the level of hysteria about it. The Chaser boys, Magda, Red Faces, Ben Elton –it’s bizarre.

“A comedy show is doing something wrong if at least one person’s not offended. Then it just boils down to semantics.”

The GNW episode in question was recorded at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Source: Herald Sun

32 Responses

  1. Just when you think autism humour is a capital offence, it has happened again. The Sydney NRL Footy Show had a comedienne make a joke about rain man during her performance last night. I have sent a complaint. Watch for the fall out on this one. :S

  2. Hmmmm, I have 2 autistic daughters and it did make me stop and think, who is this idiot……seems he isn’t really funny……..but it seems that everybody is out to get a laugh about anything from autism, to cancer, to overweight people and those too skinny! Lucky us parents are used to people going on about nothing they know about! I think we all need to walk in other peoples’ shoes sometimes and see how they fit………and sometimes we need to just have a laugh!!

  3. My mates and i play a game when we watch gnw. We see who cracks a smile first. The first one to do is labeled a d***head. We are three episodes in and we still haven’t got a winnner/loser. Perhaps we are all losers for watching it.

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