Project complaints reach ACMA

Regulator directs complaints to Network 10 before it will consider an investigation.

Media watchdog the Australian Communications & Media Authority has received a flurry of complaints following a joke by Reuben Kaye last week on The Project.

“The ACMA has received 203 inquiries about an episode of The Project broadcast on Tuesday 28 February 2023 featuring the comedian Reuben Kaye,” the ACMA said in a statement.

However under the broadcasting co-regulatory system, complainants are directed to the broadcaster in the first instance.

“If a complainant does not receive a response from the broadcaster within 60 days, or is not satisfied with the response they do receive, they may refer their complaint to the ACMA for consideration,” said ACMA.

Last week hosts Waleed Aly and Sarah Harris apologised for the comments.

“During an interview last night, our guest told a joke which we know was deeply and needlessly offensive to many of you.

“We want to acknowledge the particular offence and hurt that that caused our Muslim and especially our Christian viewers. Obviously, I understand just how profound that offence was.”

Sarah Harris added: “Live TV is unpredictable. And when this happened in the last few moments of last night’s show, it took us all by surprise. There wasn’t a lot of time to react in any sort of considered way.”

“It’s fair to say we weren’t expecting a comment like that to be made and we wouldn’t knowingly broadcast it of course. We acknowledge the offense it caused, but more than that, we’re sorry,” said Aly.

Source: SKY News

19 Responses

  1. Well then, it’s a good thing they don’t have to put up with jokes like that everyday of their lives. I mean, it wouldn’t be very nice now would it? Imagine how unfair that would be…

  2. As reported by news.com “A Sydney Catholic priest has launched a fiery attack on the TV show The Project from the pulpit amid ongoing fallout from an X-rated joke about Jesus on the show.
    Fr Brendan Lee used his Sunday homily to attack the show, saying he wants the show to be taken off air.
    He labelled The Project the “worst show on television” and described it as “full of putrid”.
    “It is a show that preaches diversity and tolerance but has no tolerance itself for different religions and people of faith,” he told the congregation. “It does not practice what it preaches.”
    “It is hate speech and bigotry.”
    Fr Lee told news.com.au that political and media leaders need to take a stand against the lewd joke”.
    Really Fr. “Hate speech? Full of putrid? Worst show on television?” The producers of MAFS are livid. They thought they had those claims in the bag. The producers of The Project must be delighted with all of the free publicity.

    1. Wow what a load of hypocrisy! Try walking the shoes of a member of the LGBTQIA+ community for a while and then you’ll get to see what hate speech and discrimination really is!

  3. They stuffed the apology up by making the host who had a measured and sensible approach to the joke when it went live do the apology.
    The Project won’t survive this, it’s ratings are terminal and now a large section of Australia simply won’t even give this show a shot anymore. Large sections of the community it needed to attract to pull sufficient ratings during a hosting revamp lost.

    It’s good to see push back finally happening. Yes it’s 2023 everyone needs to do better.

  4. Well, it was a stupid joke and criminally unfunny, not to mention scripturally incorrect. However, there is no such thing as bad publicity, so Ten must be loving this. It has been all over the news cycle for days now, creating huge public awareness for The Project.

  5. For goodness sake, those people that are complaining, don’t they have anything better to do? And I thought the joke was pretty funny myself.

  6. Whoops, just saw the number of complaints in the article. Too much speed-reading. Disregard my earlier comment about “flurry of complaints”.

  7. It would be interesting to hear what “a flurry of complaints” means, also noting the source.

    Again, one joke versus untold decades of discrimination and violence towards the LGBTIQA+ community? The balance sheet’s not even close to even.

    1. The Project would be very happy with some publicity. Lisa Wilkinson and Carrie were tabloid favourites. They also have Steve Price on to generate outrage but nobody cares.

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