ABC boss who approved Chaser sketch loses title, keeps job

amanda-duthie1The ABC editor who allowed The Chaser’s controversial dying kids sketch to go to air has been removed from supervising the corporation’s comedy output – but has kept most of her job.    

In a statement late this afternoon, ABC managing director Mark Scott said that Amanda Duthie had made “an error of judgement”. He said that she will retain responsibility for arts and entertainment programming but no longer be head of comedy too.

The Make A Reasonable Wish Foundation sketch generated widespread outrage after being broadcast last week. Early this week Duthie took responsibility for previewing the material and confirmed she had not referred it upwards.

Scott said: “The segment should not have been broadcast. We recognise that it caused unnecessary and unreasonable hurt and offence to our viewers and the broader community and we have apologised for this. We have determined this was not a breakdown in our editorial policy processes but rather an error of judgement.”

He added: “Where staff are concerned about the potential for satirical material to cause harm they should refer the matter to the next level of management. In this instance, the Head of Arts, Entertainment and Comedy reviewed the segment and did not refer it up. This was an error of judgement.”

ABC TV’s executive head of content creation, Courtney Gibson, will now take direct responsibility for comedy programs until a new head of comedy is appointed, the ABC said.


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