The Australian Communications and Media Authority has cleared ABC over a controversial skit that appeared on Tonightly With Tom Ballard back in March.
As TV Tonight reports, the ACMA said ABC didn’t breach any rules with a joke that called an Australian Conservatives candidate a "cunt”.
The skit was centred on discussions about renaming the Melbourne electorate of Batman, given John Batman's involvement in the murder of Aboriginal people, with show regular Greg Larsen suggesting it be renamed to "Batman-was-a-cunt".
It featured Larsen acting as an Australian Electoral Commission representative, showing a number of mock campaign posters, one of which stated that Australian Conservatives candidate “Kevin Bailey is a cunt”.
Following the show, Communications Minister Mitch Fifield and others demanded the ABC apologise, which led to an investigation by the ACMA.
The ACMA cleared the ABC, citing the comedic context, the fact Bailey refused to be interviewed, the show's timeslot and MA15+ classification as well as Ballard’s “vehement objections (albeit in a feigned, comedic manner) which signalled to the audience that the program fully understood that genuinely calling a candidate a cunt is an entirely inappropriate and unjustified thing to do.”
However, the ACMA stated the skit tested the limits of comedic context.
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