Australia divided over Chaser suspension
By News Online's Sarah Collerton and staff
Posted Sat Jun 6, 2009 9:28am AEST
Updated Sat Jun 6, 2009 12:25pm AEST
Scene from The Chaser's War on Everything 'Make a Realistic Wish Foundation' skit
There has been a mixed response to the ABC's two-week suspension of comedy team The Chaser.
The ABC has been flooded with complaints after The Chaser's War on Everything ran a skit satirising the Make-A-Wish Foundation on Wednesday night.
The public broadcaster has responded to public pressure, taking the show off air until June 24.
ABC managing director Mark Scott says editorial policies for the program will be reviewed during that time and the Chaser team will also have a chance to review their material.
Some fans are using microblog Twitter to express their outrage, labelling the move "complete insanity".
"ABC should, to quote the PM, hang its head in shame," @kev_martin tweeted.
"Holy crap people, get a sense of humour," @brob1 said.
"Don't agree with the show being taken off air either. You guys keep me laughing, keep up the good work!" @AstroGirl1979 said.
But other tweeps are backing the ABC's suspension.
"Chaser team off air for 2 weeks for a skit that went wrong ... somewhat deserved," @sacharules said.
ABC News Online has also received a flood of angry emails in response to The Chaser show.
"I would suggest give that team the sack and let them feel the real cold that life can dispense," Rolf of Tocumwal in New South Wales said.
"I am actually surprised that such content went to air, whilst there is management with academic sense. And I hear now a comment has been, that the scene has been misinterpreted. I think that is an complete insult on the intelligence of the viewing public."
Jim Moore of Mount Martha in Victoria did not see the episode but he is throwing his support behind the decision.
"Congratulations on deciding to take The Chaser off air for two weeks," he said.
"Hopefully you decide to make it a permanent decision. I for one had made the decision not to watch the program this season or any future seasons."
But Kerrie Evans of Largs Bay in South Australia says it is all a bit over the top.
"It is a total overaction to a short skit on Chaser," she wrote.
"People are so precious and keen to be offended that all sense of humour is lost. You couldn't get a dingo joke going nowadays! Bad taste it may be, but it's hardly a national disgrace."
Facebook group The Chaser's War on Everything Appreciation Society, which has almost 90,000 members, has also received a wide range of responses.
"The ABC's decision to ban [The Chaser] for two weeks sets a very dangerous precedent," Christopher Nicholls wrote.
"The entire point of the program is to send everything up. Why? Because it allows us to question everything, rather than to just accept things - whatever they are!
"It's not only important that we laugh at the serious, it's vital for the health of society as a whole... Lay off ABC!"
But Scott Bulliman wrote on the group's wall: "Guys - you owe everyone whose child has ever been through a serious illness an apology."
'We got it wrong'
The program's makers say the skit which caused the suspension has been misinterpreted.
In a video statement issued to ABC News last night, the Chaser team says the sketch sending up the Make-A-Wish Foundation should not have gone to air.
But cast member Craig Reucassel says it was not meant literally.
"It was meant to be so over the top that people wouldn't take it seriously, but we got it wrong and we didn't convey that properly and we take full responsibility for that," he said.
The show's producer Julian Morrow says they take full responsibility for the offence caused, but they disagree with the suspension.
"The sketch was a very dark sketch, clearly too dark and we acknowledge the pain and the hurt it's caused a lot of people," he said.
i dont mind their show myself,but what they did here is such a ignorant act ..