Sydney based ‘shock jock’ Kyle Sandilands provoked outrage this morning when his “Lie Detector” segment at around 8am local time featured a 14 year old girl who, when quizzed on her sexual history by her mother, broke down, revealing she had been raped at the age of 12.
The segment with co-host “Jackie O” has sparked outrage from Australians and is making headlines around the world – with many predicting that Sandliands will lose his job over the incident.
While many are quickly lambasting the show for featuring this rape revelation, it is obvious from the recording that the hosts of the show had no prior knowledge of the rape and that, as soon as it was revealed, were quick to end the segment and offer the girl and her family counselling.
The premise of this section of the show is that people come on to be hooked up to a lie detector while a friend or family member quizzes them about embarrassing subjects, such as masturbation, or sexual history.
That a fourteen year old girl should be asked these questions on the radio at all is being questioned by several commentators – however, the “appropriateness for radio” of the eventual revelations were called into question by a spokesperson for the Department for Community Services, Linda Burney, who also stressed that the girl in question should be offered counselling.
As with many similar shock jocks, Sandilands divides public opinion. As a household name – Sandilands has featured in Big Brother and judged for Australian Idol – the DJ is known for his outrageous shows and shocking antics. Many could see this latest stunt as a step too far.
Whether or not Sandilands loses his job over the incident, it is likely that it will once again rekindle the debate over what is and is not acceptible for broadcast – similar to that which took place following the telephone call from Jonathon Ross and Russell Brand to Andrew Sachs on the UK BBC Radio 2 show, which resulted in Brand resigning and Ross being suspended.
What separates these two events, however, is that Sandilands’ show was live on air, and the BBC phone call was pre-recorded.
Sandilands’ Lie Detector segment was also taken off air soon after the rape revelation was made, and both hosts appear to have handled the revelation with a degree of sensitivity and professionalism.
What, if any, action Sandilands’ bosses at radio 104.1 2Day FM, which broadcast the show, will take against Sandilands and co-host Jackie O remains to be seen.