Kyle & Jackie O show suspended following rape scandal

The Kyle and Jackie O show has been taken off the air following last week’s disastrous live broadcast when a 14-year-old girl taking part in a lie detector test revealed that she had been raped.

On Sunday evening Austereo issued a statement saying:  

“Kyle Sandilands’ management has advised Austereo that he is unable to perform his duties on-air at this time. Further, following a great deal of consideration and having consulted Jackie O and all stakeholders, Austereo has formed the view that it is in the interest of all parties, for the Kyle & Jackie O Show to go into recess until we have completed an across-the-networks review of the principals (sic) and protocols of our interaction with our audience. This review commenced last Wednesday 29 July 2009.”

The furore began on Wednesday after the girl blurted out her comment when asked about her sexual activities.

But the controversy showed no sign of abating at the end of the week. Advertiser Optus went public saying it was “appalled” by the incident. Naked Communications boss Adam Ferrier wrote an open letter to the industry calling for a boycott of the station. And presenter Kyle Sandilands penned a justification of the incident in which he suggested that some of the blame lay with the media coverage that followed.

And on Saturday, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph revealed that the show had not been using the common industry practice of operating on a seven second live delay which gives an opportunity to stop something from being broadcast.

Today the criticism continued. Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, broadcaster Steve Price said:

“It’s a simple process and when done as it should be, the audience simply has a few seconds of silence and a professional broadcaster can usually recover the situation and repair the damage.

“We are not dealing here though with people who think the rules and codes apply to them. The authority dealing with upholding these standards – ACMA – has an obsession with concentrating their efforts on AM talkback radio rather than the more difficult job of policing standards on shows like Sandilands’.”


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