Outrage over Kyle’s ‘disgraceful’ comments
Australia, it's time to stop getting outraged over Kyle Sandilands' comments.
The broadcaster is under fire again today, this time for referring to Meghan Markle's mother, Doria Ragland, as "the black mum" and for making crass about the Queen.
Kyle returned to the airwaves yesterday morning for his first show of 2020 with Jackie O.
During the show the KIIS FM hosts interviewed Thomas Markle Jr. who is Meghan Markle's estranged half brother.
If you're not familiar with Thomas, he was arrested and charged in 2017 for holding a gun to a woman's head during an argument and in 2018 he wrote an open letter to Prince Harry urging him not to marry Meghan.
"Meghan Markle is obviously not the right woman for you," he wrote in the letter which was published in In Touch Weekly.
"I'm confused why you don't see the real Meghan that the whole world now sees.
"Meghan's attempt to act the part of a princess like a below C average Hollywood actress is getting old."
WHAT WENT DOWN IN THE INTERVIEW
During his interview on KIIS FM, Thomas told Kyle and Jackie that he "had a really good relationship with her (Meghan) growing up" but that he "got brushed off to the side when she went off to royalty".
Kyle then asked Thomas how long he lived with Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland.
"Meghan's mum, she was in your household?" Kyle said. "So your dad was with the mother, Meghan's mother, and when Meghan was born, how long did that last as a family unit? You, Samantha, Meghan, your dad and the black mum?"
Kyle continued: "Wouldn't it be nice though if the family didn't split up and you could ring up Meghan, before all this Megxit, you could have rung up and said, 'Hey, dad and Sammy (Meghan's half sister) and me, we want to come over and stay in Kensington Palace for a couple of weeks.' The perks you could have got if you guys weren't fighting, it's unbelievable."
Thomas jokingly replied, "Yeah, I was about to ring up the Queen and see if I could rent out the (Frogmore) cottage for a while. Move in there. Anything I could do, offer my services, you know."
"What do you mean? Sexually, to the Queen?" Kyle said in jest. "That's a bit much."
"Oh no, not services to the Queen," Thomas laughed.
"You wouldn't go there? What about one of those freckly cousins, Eugenie or whatever it's name was. Would you go there?" the KIIS FM host asked.
"Who's that now?" Thomas said.
"You know, the redhead with the bloody, the stupid hats. Would you go there?" Kyle asked him.
"You know, I'll do anything for $100 an hour," Thomas joked.
"Love a man-whore, love one," Kyle laughed in response.
Later in the interview, after Thomas revealed that he was in a relationship, Kyle said: "Having the princess sister, that would have got you laid a thousand times, right? If you wanted to, you could have used that. It's a leg opener. 'My sister's a princess'."
Thomas laughed and replied, "How many times I wanted to be single and use that line in a bar".
"100,000 times," Kyle said. "You would have said, 'Hey, have you seen that Meghan Markle? She's my sister.' Boing, the legs spring open."
Thomas took it one step further, suggesting he would tell women, "Here, let me plant the royal seed for you".
When the interview was later uploaded to the KIIS FM website, Kyle's "leg opener" comments and his reference to Doria as "the black mum" were removed.
Kyle's comments have since made headlines in both Australia and overseas, and the radio star has been slammed on social media.
"How many strikes does the misogynist get. He is a disgrace," one person wrote on Twitter.
"Omg! How is he still on air?" wrote another.
"Trash radio for trash people," tweeted another person.
In response to the outrage, a spokesperson for the Australian Radio Network, which owns KIIS FM, told the Sydney Morning Herald: "This was a cheeky and irreverent interview in the style that regular listeners of the show are accustomed to. When listening to this interview within the context of the show, it is clear this is a light-hearted and inoffensive chat."
GET OVER IT
I'm going to put my hand up and defend Kyle, because it's really time that everyone stopped being surprised by his comments.
As an entertainment reporter for news.com.au, I have listened to Kyle and Jackie O's radio show every single weekday for more than five years.
I can honestly tell you that when I heard the interview with Thomas Markle Jr. go to air yesterday, I didn't bat an eyelid. And neither would have any other people who regularly listen to The Kyle and Jackie O Show.
Why? Because it was simply Kyle being Kyle.
This is a man who regularly asks male guests if they're circumcised, a man who often talks on air about the time he had sex with a transsexual prostitute. His favourite on-air game is "What's in Jackie's mouth?" where his co-host puts an item in her mouth and gives listeners clues about what it is, clues that are full of sexual innuendo.
If you wanted to, you could find something on the KIIS FM radio show to be outraged by every single day.
But it's exactly these types of comments, segments, and the way Kyle conducts himself in interviews like he did with Thomas Markle Jr., that have made him the most listened to man on commercial radio.
The Kyle and Jackie O Show is the number one FM breakfast show in Sydney, and give or take a few months, it's been that way for a decade.
But regardless of his sustained period of success, the outage continues to flow and every few weeks there seems to be another article about Kyle's latest on air comments that have shocked and appalled.
Some are valid, such as when he joked about the Virgin Mary last year, but the majority is just news sites trading off the fact that a lot of people dislike Kyle. It's an easy headline, easy clicks.
Yes, Kyle's comments to Thomas Markle Jr. were at times racially insensitive, they were crude, they were grubby. But Kyle's been making similar comments on air for 20 years.
You can be disgusted and disagree with what he say, but isn't it time you stopped being shocked?