Australia’s Good News Week television show recently ran into some controversy when English comedian Russell Kane appeared as a guest on the program.
While speaking to host Paul McDermott, Kane said that his comedy festival team “went at you like an autistic kid on a drum, we destroyed you.” McDermott was immediately taken back by the offensive remark. He commented on behalf of the silent audience and said, “You can see they don’t like autistic humor here.”
Regardless of McDermott’s acknowledgment that Kane’s remark was over the line, many parents were upset. The parents wanted an apology from Channel 10, and they received it.
A spokesperson for the network said, “We are sorry for any offense 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 humor here’ made it clear it was a step too far.”
Even in light of the issued apology, parents of children with autism remain appalled. Parents voiced their anger on blogs, to the network, and even to Parliamentary Secretary Bill Shorten.
Shorten himself found the remark over the line, and has since reached out to the producers of Good News Week to meet with him to discuss the matter.
The network’s spokesperson continued to reiterate that the network is a supporter of autism and autism awareness, and that they will increase their commitment to foundations that work with families who have children that have autism. The network will also be updating their website and adding a link to an autism support organization so visitors could familiarize themselves.