Triple J Apologise For 'Sick' Holocaust Comments

10 August 2012 | 3:39 pm | Dan Condon

A wave of complaints has forced the station to admit the comments made on yesterday's breakfast program were inappropriate.

Triple j have apologised for insensitive and offensive comments made by its breakfast show hosts Tom Ballard and Alex Dyson after jokes about the Holocaust were broadcast as a part of their show yesterday morning. The comments, which were made in the context of a game in which they related certain objects to Hitler, incensed a number of listeners who complained to the station and took the radio duo to task on twitter.

In response to one tweet, Tom Ballard told a listener that if they didn't like the comments they shouldn't listen to the program.

But today triple j has issued an apology and admitted that the comments made were indeed inappropriate.

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“On Thursday morning's breakfast show, some comments were made by a triple j presenter in relation to Hitler that have received a negative reaction.

“Further to our post yesterday on facebook, triple j takes all complaints seriously. 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 has issued a statement in which he apologises for the offense he caused.

“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 apologize that's how I came across in this instance.”

Director of the Centre for Jewish History and Culture at the University of Melbourne Dr Dvir Abramovich has written an opinion piece for the Sydney Morning Herald today, in which he slams the presenters' comments and questions whether they would have been made if the Holocaust was closer to home.

“Would they have played the same game if their grandparents, parents, siblings or uncles were executed and their naked corpses incinerated in the ovens?” Dr Abramovich writes.

He also questions triple j's judgement in letting the comments go to air, calling their lack of sensitivity “troubling”.

“Triple j may think that any publicity is good publicity and will lure listeners. But yesterday's hurtful and sickening prank showcases a disturbing abdication of responsible judgment and a troubling lack of sensitivity.

“Was there not a single person to tell them that this was a terrible idea, that there was no humour to be milked from mass murder, that trivialising genocide for outrageous comic pay-off is inexcusable and will be a kick in the stomach to survivors?”