Willie, JT off-air over Roast Busters comments

  • Breaking
  • 10/11/2013

Broadcasters Willie Jackson and John Tamihere have been stood down from their afternoon RadioLIVE show, over their controversial Roast Busters comments.

Jackson and Tamihere came under fire last week following an interview with 'Amy', a friend of a girl who claims to have been raped by the Roast Busters.

The 18-year-old was asked about her own sexual habits and dress sense and asked why she was out late at night drinking and at what age she lost her virginity.

The pair's comments sparked outrage with many listeners accusing them of "victim blaming". However, the show had remained on air.

Despite an apology read on air, blogger Giovanni Tiso contacted 30 advertisers asking if they would continue support for the show. At least eight companies pulled advertising from the station, with RadioLIVE's owner MediaWorks eventually stepping in to broadcast the show ad-free.

In a statement read on the station this afternoon, Tamihere confirmed it would be the pair's last show on RadioLIVE for the year.

"We will be taking the next few weeks to review what happened last week with the management here, and agree what action needs to be taken," he said.

"We do not condone rape in any way and did not intend to blame the victims. Rape is a terrible crime and the victims who come forward deserve support and respect.  

"We deeply regret the comments we made last week and the upset they caused so many people.

He also apologised to advertisers on the station, as well as RadioLIVE and MediaWorks staff who have had to "deal with the fallout".

"We regret the impact this has had on our wives and children, our grandchildren and our communities," he said.

It is believed the pair will be off-air until January.

An emotional Mr Tamihere was given just one minute to say sorry and goodbye on-air today.

""As this will be our last time on the radio this year, we wish you and your families a safe and happy Christmas and send our aroha to you all," he said.

 It was radio listener Giovanni Tiso who encouraged advertisers to pull their money and support. He welcomes the stand down.

"It sends a great message about what our society will tolerate from our public figures," he said.

MediaWorks Radio chief executive Belinda Mulgrew says the station will "continue to review the situation".

"We apologise unreservedly for any offence or distress caused to listeners, clients or others by Willie and JT’s interview with Amy."

Because it's now an employment issue, Radio Live says it won't comment any further either - and that included whether the hosts would still be paid while on leave. 

Jeremy Parkinson will host the Willie and JT show today and the 12-3pm show on RadioLIVE will run ad-free for the remainder of the week.

3 News

source: newshub archive