In a surprisingly gutsy decision the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has actually taken note of the complaints about ‘Vile Kyle’ and his attitudes toward women. The body, which is responsible for the moderation of the radio industry, has handed down a decision which places restrictions on what can be broadcast by both 2Day FM and its owner, Southern Cross Austereo. From now on if they are responsible for broadcasting material which is demeaning to women they run the risk of fines or the loss of their license.
Unsurprisingly, Southern Cross Austereo has come out against the decision saying that, since the majority of their listeners are women, they will struggle to fulfill the requirement of treating women as human beings worthy of respect. These terms, which they said in a statement were ‘broad and ambiguous and mean different things to different people’, would limit their ability to create programming which would appeal to their audience (of women, just so we’re clear).
The Kyle and Jackie O show nets some 15 million dollars in advertising revenue every year. The show is no stranger to controversy, notable examples include when Kyle and Jackie O hooked a 14 year old girl up to a lie detector to ask her about her ‘sexual experiences’ (putting aside the fact that at fourteen she’s unable to legally consent to much in most states). Predictably, the stunt went wrong when the child angrily responded to questioning with the statement that she had been raped at 12, and that this fact was known to her mother. Kyle, sensitive soul that he really is, paused a moment and said ‘and that’s your only sexual experience’. Comedy. Gold. I can see why so many people listen to this trash.
Most recently brought to the attention of the public was Kyle’s rant about a bad review written about a television show by a television reporter. Kyle, whose colleagues attest he really does respect women a lot, called her a ‘fat slag’ a ‘bitch’ and then topped the whole thing off with the charming statement ‘Watch your mouth or I will hunt you down’. Because violence against women isn’t an issue in our society (actually…hang on…)
I’ve been surprised that people keep tuning in and was even more surprised today when I discovered that the majority of their listeners were women. The advertisers made more sense then, given that women do hold the majority of the purchasing power. However, this begged a bigger question of why, oh why, are women listening to a team which seems to have very little respect for women and goes so far as to say that they can’t even promise that they won’t broadcast material which is degrading to women.
This is an issue which continues to plague mainstream entertainment in Australia and around the world. Women will continue to tune in, pay to see and watch things which insult and degrade them. The same is allegedly not true of men, who are unwilling to do the same to see films which are about women, let alone which are degrading to men.
I certainly don’t understand, but it would be interesting to get other people’s opinion on this. What will come next, will ‘Vile Kyle’ and 2Day FM stick to these new licensing regulations? And for how long?
Do any of you listen to this radio show? What’s it’s appeal? Comment below.