The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found KIIS FM’s Kyle and Jackie O show breached decency standards after it aired comments about the Virgin Mary last year.
The ACMA investigated the episode that aired in September 2019 after receiving 180 complaints from listeners claiming the segment was offensive.
The investigation found the comments made by Kyle Sandilands were ‘offensive to listeners of faith but didn’t incite hatred or ridicule’.
Breach: Communications watchdog ACMA has found Kyle Sandilands’ (pictured) Virgin Mary joke breached decency standards
In a statement, ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said:’Australians are generally tolerant of irreverent humour and critical discussion about religion.
He continued: ‘But they would not expect a host of a broadcast program to derisively criticise people’s intelligence because of their religious beliefs.’
‘Mr Sandilands overstepped the mark in terms of the generally accepted standards of decency in this case.’
Findings: The investigation found the comments made by Kyle Sandilands in 2019 were ‘offensive but didn’t incite hatred or ridicule’
On 18th September 2019, Kyle offended thousands of listeners by saying the Virgin Mary wasn’t actually a virgin at all.
‘I thought Mary was his [Jesus Christ’s] girlfriend but apparently it was the mother,’ he said.
‘And the mother lied obviously and told everyone, “Nah I got pregnant by a magical ghost”. Bulls**t.’
‘Someone chock-a-blocked her behind the camel shed. You might believe everything that’s written down 2,000 years ago to be absolutely accurate and good on you, you’re dumb. Dumb as dog s**t.’
After the comments went viral, dozens of furious protesters gathered at KIIS FM’s Sydney office to demonstrate against Sandilands over his ‘ghastly’ religious joke.
Comments: On September 18 last year, Kyle offended thousands of listeners by saying the Virgin Mary wasn’t actually a virgin at all
On September 30th, Kyle issued a heartfelt apology for his controversial ‘joke’ about the Virgin Mary, telling listeners of his radio show, he deeply regrets what he said.
‘I didn’t realise the gravity of it. I upset a lot of people,’ he said. ‘Even friends of mine were like, “Bro how could you say something so dumb like that?”‘
The KIIS FM star said that he ‘only wanted to make people laugh’ and emphasised the joke was ‘not planned’ in any way.
Kyle confessed that the worst part of the whole experience was that people close to him had received death threats over what he’d said on air.
But he made it clear to naysayers that he won’t be quitting his job.
‘I am going to quit? No. Am I going to get fired? No. Am I sorry? Absolutely I am sorry because, as I’ve said, I never intended to purposely upset anyone. Obviously I have upset people and I am sorry for it. There is nothing else I can do. We have all made mistakes in our life and this is just one of the many I have made,’ he said.
Apology: At the time, Kyle issued a heartfelt apology for his controversial ‘joke’ about the Virgin Mary, telling listeners of his radio show he deeply regrets what he said