Macquarie Media chairman Russell Tate has issued a warning to Alan Jones, saying the radio network is prepared to terminate his contract if he makes any commentary similar to his remarks regarding New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Earlier this week the 2GB host said Prime Minister Scott Morrison should “shove a sock down” the throat of Ardern, the prime minister of New Zealand.
The public backlash was swift, with many condemning the violent language and misogynistic tone of the remark. Advertisers have even entered the debate, with brands such as ME Bank, Snooze, Bing Lee and Amart all reportedly pulling their ads from Jones' breakfast show.
Following the sustained backlash, which continued after Jone’s made a public statement saying he was ‘wilfiulling” misinterpreted, Tate has warned Jones the network is prepared to let him go in the event of further similar remarks being made.
“In his apology, Alan recognised that his comments were ‘careless, unnecessary and wrong, and ‘should have been more clearly thought out’,” Tate says.
“He indicated that he had apologised sincerely to Prime Minister Ardern for any offence given, and had certainly not intended to suggest any harm through his comments.
“Notwithstanding his apologies, I have today discussed the matter with Alan and advised him that any recurrence of commentary of this nature will result in the termination of his contract.”
The scandal comes just days after Nine announced it would be buying the remaining 45.5% stake in the network, which includes 2GB, 3AW, 4BC, 6PR and Macquarie Sports Radio.
The loss of Jones would be significant for Macquarie Media with Jones consistently leading the breakfast slot in Sydney for the radio business.
Jones’ latest comments aren’t the first to ignite outrage. He has previously said former Prime Minister Julia Gillard should be put in a chaff bag and thrown out to sea.
An online petition calling for 2GB and advertisers to “consider their association” with Jones has reached more than 53,000 signatures a day after going live.
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