ABC youth station Triple J and the station’s presenter Tom Ballard this afternoon issued an apology for his controversial joke about the holocaust he made during yesterday’s show.
The comment, made by breakfast presenter Tom Ballard, came during an on-air game to link two things together, Hitler and a wind-farm.
In a reference to gas chambers used in concentration camps, Ballard suggested “fan-forced ovens”.
After his joke caused offence, Ballard initially refused to apologise, saying on Twitter: “If you don’t like the show, just don’t listen.”
Ballard also compared the jokes to comedians such as Monty Python, John Cleese, Mel Brooks and Charlie Chaplin.
Both Triple J and Ballard this afternoon backed down.
Triple J issued a statement saying: “We recognise the concerns regarding the comments are serious. Triple J agrees the comments made were inappropriate. The matter has been followed up with the Breakfast team. triple j regrets the matter and apologises unreservedly for any offence caused.”
Ballard said: “I’m very sorry that on my breakfast radio program, I offended and upset a lot of people. That’s not what I like doing; I like making people laugh and I like making people happy. I never set out to vindictively offend or belittle anyone or any group with my comedy, that’s not what I’m about. I sincerely apologise that’s how I came across in this instance.”
A statement from Triple J to Mumbrella read: “Tom Ballard’s comments were made in response to a discussion about Alan Brough’s new political satire program. We are taking this matter seriously. Internal discussions have occurred and will continue early next week. All ABC staff are governed by the ABC’s social media policy, as well as the ABC editorial policies.”
Listeners have voiced their disapproval across both Twitter and Triple J’s Facebook page.