Australian comedian Vince Sorrenti apologises for racist Māori joke made live on radio

Australian comedian Vince Sorrenti has apologised after making a racist joke about Māori on live radio. 

Sorrenti was a guest on Saturday Night with Rob Duckworth on the radio station 2GB when he began singing a parody version of Dean Martin's 'That's Amore'. 

The first couple of lines were innocuous: "When you swim near the sand and an eel bites your hand, that's a moray" followed by: "When you mix up some tuna and cheese and some cream that's a mornay."

But then the former TV host's lyrics took a turn, with him delivering the line: "When you're hit by a thug, in a tough Kiwi pub, that's a Māori."

The parody elicited laughs from those in the studio, with host Duckworth chiming in: "There ya go! Vince Sorrenti is on fire already."

Sorrenti's gag soon prompted outrage from Māori living in Australia, with a member of Sydney's Māori Wardens community dubbing it "unacceptable". 

"In today's day and age, that's definitely not acceptable,' the unnamed person told the Daily Mail. "He needs to reconsider his material in the future." 

"Maybe in his day it was acceptable. Back in the dark ages maybe it would have been fine, but nowadays you have to consider things other than people's ethnicity." 

Sorrenti appeared to agree with those sentiments after the fact, telling the Daily Mail via a spokesperson that he was sorry and would issue an on-air apology this weekend. 

"Those Kiwis are right," the spokesperson said.

"That humour is outdated and unacceptable. I just spoke with Vince and he is embarrassed and very remorseful. 

"It's a very silly and meaningless ditty and was never intended to hurt or offend. He is going to apologise on air this weekend." 

Sorrenti apparently used to sing the parody song in the 1980s and even performed it on New Zealand television. 

"It's a reminder of how much times have changed," the spokesperson said.