“Shock jock” Kyle Sandilands has been sacked from his role as a judge on TV talent show “Australian Idol” after participating in a controversial breakfast radio stunt Down Under.
The July 29 incident, which has since been reported around the world and provoked international outcry, saw a 14-year old girl strapped to a polygraph machine and quizzed by her mother about whether she was sexually active, as part of Sandilands’s radio show “the Kyle and Jackie O Show.”
When the young girl claimed that she had been sexually assaulted at a young age, Sandilands persisted in questioning her — a move which sparked angry public reactions and led Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to slam the radio show, saying: “This is a young girl and I am — as I think most Australians are — really distressed at the way in which the young person has been treated.”
The show, broadcast by Sydney radio station 2Day FM, has since been taken off air.
Network Ten, which broadcasts Australian Idol, made the decision to axe Sandilands from his role as a judge following “significant discussions and consideration.” They did, however, thank the reality TV judge for his contribution to the TV show over the past four years. “Obviously culminating with [the] events of last week, we have made the decision that Kyle will no longer be a judge on Australian Idol,” Ten programmer David Mott said in a statement.
He added: “’Australian Idol’ is very much a family program and its appeal is very much right across the board. We’d like to think that all families can enjoy the program in front of the TV.”
Sandilands will appear in the first three pre-recorded audition episodes of “Australian Idol,” which enters its seventh season this weekend. Guest judges will replace him for the rest of the season.
Following the radio stunt, the New South Wales state government has ordered police and child welfare officers to investigate the teenager’s claims of abuse.