Another bit not necessarily related to disability employment.
On or about the 4th June I wrote to the ABC in relation to the disgraceful 'Chaser' skit mocking terminally ill children and their families:
For the first time in my life (I am 50) I turned off my television in disgust during the Chaser's 'satirical' sketch on terminally ill children.
I have never written to complain about anything in my life - I believe that free speech and freedom of expression are vital components of Australian society.
Last night's program went beyond the bounds of good taste, it didn't test the limits of comedy, it wasn't edgy. It was disgusting, tawdry, offensive and a pathetic failure. While the egos associated with the programs production may justify their actions, the ABC's management cannot.
Your apology didn't cut it.
No 'if's' in an apology, no 'buts' - just a straight 'we screwed up royally, we failed, we completely ababndoned our responsibility as a broadcaster' - this was the worst in poor taste, this was offensive to every decent member of our society and we will at least attempt to ensure it never happens again".
Those who have cared for dying children will never forgive this assault, you have failed completely in your duty to care for our community, it is a shame that you are beyond reach. My only hope is that for you, what goes around...
Yesterday I received this reply:
Dear Mr Wren
Thank you for writing to the ABC to express your concern over the “Make a Realistic Wish Foundation” sketch broadcast during The Chaser’s War on Everything on 3 June.
This sketch caused significant distress and offence to many people in the community. Please accept the sincere, unreserved apology of the ABC for having put it to air.
This sketch should not have been broadcast. It breached the Editorial Policies developed by the ABC. Our policies state that we should not broadcast material which is likely “to offend to a substantial degree, the standards of the content’s target audience”. This material should also have been referred to senior management prior to broadcast for review, given its controversial nature. That also did not happen on this occasion.
Our editorial policies are designed to guide broadcasters in dealing with a range of contentious material, from news coverage, topical and factual programming and entertainment. In creating programming for broadcast, ABC staff need to exercise proper judgement to ensure what goes to air meets our editorial requirements. On this occasion we failed to exercise that judgement correctly.
As you are most likely aware, the ABC withdrew this sketch from the repeat of this Chaser episode on ABC2 and from our online sites. We also suspended The Chaser program for two weeks and made changes to management responsibilities in our television division. Members of The Chaser have also apologised.
Our failure to reach our desired levels of editorial standards has been a focus of my attention and that of the Director of Television since this program went to air. I have also discussed it with members of the ABC Board. Nothing is more important to the ABC than the trust and respect of our audiences. We will continue to work hard to improve our performance in the future.
A decent response that is much appreciated. While It would have been better if the show had not gone to air, at least this is a proper apology
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