Tag Archives: ACMA

Piss Weak- Vile Kyle wins derogatory argument, can continue to make statements about ‘Fat Slags’ he wants to ‘hunt down’.

I wrote a blog when the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) handed down a decision to place strict licensing restriction on Austero (Vile Kyle’s license holder) which would have imposed significant fines in the event that any of the shows on 2day FM broadcast material that was offensive or demeaning to women or girls.  In the blog I called it, “A surprisingly gutsy decision” (read it here), it would appear that I was right, and I spoke too soon. They have reversed their decision.

Now ACMA argues that they haven’t actually backed down at all saying that the new code was not a back down, rather a slight alteration. The decision says that, “‘program content must not offend generally accepted standards of decency…having regard to the demographic characteristics of the audience of the relevant program’.” I’m not a lawyer or anything, but it seems to me that that isn’t really the same.

As I pointed out in the April blog, majority of the listeners to the Kyle and Jackie O show are women. So that’s the audience. Content can’t offend generally accepted standards of decency, with a largely female audience.

What I liked so much about the original licensing restrictions was that they were a message about what we can reasonably object to on our airwaves and within our public discourse. For some reason overt sexism and statements trivializing violence against women are still allowed to be a part of the language used in the mainstream media.  Outrage is never in short supply, consequences are rare in this world where it seems like feminists are the only people that still care.

Words, and the meaning of words, are intensely powerful. While the outcome of the licensing may well be the same whatever the words the statement has changed. Where ACMA once responded saying that the sort of language Kyle used was no longer appropriate in this day and age that was a message. Now it’s blunted by the retraction.

ACMA had an opportunity to send a message to women and men that said that sexism has no place in mainstream media, violence against women has no place in our culture and that there would be consequences for those who continue to flaunt the decency standards we expect for those who are given a giant microphone. They turned their back on that message with this decision.

I don’t know about you all, but I’m really disappointed by this turn around. To think that there might have been a real consequence, a real message sent and then for the patriarchy to win out yet again is piss weak.

What do you all think?

‘He really is a lovely guy’ selling women ‘Vile Kyle’

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.