Triple M censures Eddie McGuire over journo drowning comments

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 22 June 2016
Eddie McGuire is in deep water over comments made about journalist Caroline Wilson.

Southern Cross Austereo's Triple M has censured Football Show hosts Eddie McGuire, James Brayshaw and Danny Frawley over nasty comments made on air about Fairfax AFL journalist Caroline Wilson.

The public dressing down comes days after Holden said it is reviewing its $3 million a year sponsorship of Collingwood FC, where McGuire is president.

McGuire apologised on Monday for joking on air about Fairfax AFL journalist Caroline Wilson drowning at a charity event where football personalities are dunked in freezing water. 

In an exchange that draws comparisons to the sexist banter on Anchorman, McGuire said: "I'll put in 10 grand straight away, make it 20. And if she stays under, 50. What do you reckon guys?" 

Co-host Frawley responded by saying he would jump into the tank to make sure Wilson's head "doesn't [come up]".

The comments have been widely condemned for promoting violence against women and ruffled feathers at TripleM, Collingwood and beyond.

"The comments were inappropriate and unacceptable, disrespectful to Caroline Wilson and to women in general. Triple M apologises to its listeners, the wider community and Caroline Wilson," Triple M said in a statement.

"The Triple M employees involved in an on-air discussion before the Freeze MND have been counselled and each have apologised for their remarks and acknowledged the importance of stamping out language and behaviour that encourages or appears to tacitly endorse violence, most particularly against women."

Holden released a statement earlier this week that said it was reviewing its sponsorship deal, but this does not include termination.

"Holden categorically disapproves of Eddie McGuire's inappropriate comments, along with those of his co-hosts," the car maker, one of four major sponsors of the Pies, said. "We pride ourselves on diversity, inclusion and social responsibility."

The Collingwood board has also made its feelings clear on the matter, taking the unprecedented step of speaking out against its long-serving club president.

“The board accepted Eddie McGuire’s unreserved apology for inappropriate on-air comments he made last week," a statement said, while reassuring that McGuire's position was safe.

The colourful TV personality host has a history of regrettable gaffes. Here are five of his finest:

1. King Kong. In 2013, when Triple M co-host Luke Darcy mentioned a "a great promo for King Kong", McGuire responded "Get Adam Goodes down for it you reckon?".

2. The bone scandal. In 2006, when McGuire was heading up Nine Network he was involved in a controversy with Today Show host Jessica Rowe. In a conversation with other senior executives, McGuire said: "What are we gonna do about Jessica? When should we bone her? I reckon it should be next week.

3. Land of the falafel. McGuire has long been critical of AFL club Greater Western Sydney Giant's draft concessions and academy. In 2011, he said: "I've just a put a team together of your 17-year-olds who'll be sick of living up in the land of the falafel in western Sydney playing in front of a 12,000-seat stadium that's still not put up". 

4. Brokeback Eddie. In 2010, as part of Channel Nine's Winter Olympics coverage, McGuire and comedian Mick Molloy were calling figure skating. McGuire asked: "What about the fashion at the ice skating?". Molloy retorted: "They don't leave anything in the locker room, do they?", to which McGuire responded: "They don't leave anything in the closet either."

MacGuire later described one competitor's outfit as "a bit of Brokeback" in reference to the Heath Ledger film. The exchange reminded AdNews of a Commonwealth Games call by the legendary commentator Darrell Eastlake.

5. 'A continual boofhead'. Last season, the Millionaire Hot Seat hit the headlines for suggesting an Adam Goodes Indigenous 'war dance' goal celebration was "quite aggressive" and that he "didn't want to see it again", despite it occurring in the Indigenous round of the competition. The remarks were subject to a NSW Parliament Upper House motion that condemned McGuire for being "a continual boofhead".

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