Australian TV host Ross Cameron fired for making racist, anti-Chinese comments
An Australian TV host has been fired after he described Chinese visitors to Shanghai Disneyland as “black-haired, slanty-eyed (and) yellow-skinned” live on air.
Ross Cameron, the host of Sky News Australia’s Outsiders and a former Liberal Party politician, made the comments during a broadcast on October 30.
While Sky News has removed all versions of the broadcast from its website and social accounts, clips of the show has been widely shared on social media. CNN has not been able to verify the recording independently.
Sky News Chief executive Paul Whittaker announced in a statement Friday that Cameron had been fired, effective immediately.
“Sky News is committed to robust discussion and debate however this language is totally unacceptable and has no place on any of our platforms, nor in modern Australian society,” the statement said.
Whittaker apologized for any offense Cameron’s comments had caused. CNN has reached out to Ross Cameron for comment. Sky News Australia is a CNN affiliate.
It isn’t the first controversy around race to hit Australia in the past year.
In August, Sky News was widely criticized for airing an interview with neo-Nazi and far-right agitator Blair Cottrell, who had previously been accused in local media of calling for a portrait of Adolf Hitler to be “in every (Australian) classroom and every school.”
Just one week later, a right-wing Australian senator made a controversial speech calling for a “final solution” to immigration, echoing the infamous Nazi Germany phrase used to describe the genocide of Jews in Europe.
Australia made headlines across the world again in September when a cartoon of Serena Williams by Melbourne newspaper cartoonist Mark Knight was widely denounced as racist.
At the time, Knight’s editor Damon Johnston said the cartoon “had nothing to do with race.” The cartoonist accused his critics of being overly politically correct.
Despite perceptions of itself as a highly successful, multicultural society, persistent accusations of racism have been made against Australia for decades.
Incoming Australian Race Discrimination Commissioner Chin Tan said on Wednesday that Australia was facing an “increasing re-emergence of racial extremism.”
“As a successful multicultural society, we should be clear on this: there is no place for racial prejudice, discrimination, or intimidation in our society,” he told a conference in Sydney on Wednesday, though it was not clear whether he was commenting specifically in response to Cameron’s remarks.
Australian author Max Barry wrote for CNN in September that his country was the “nicest racist country you will ever see.”
“The racism you get in Australia is mostly of the blindness to privilege variety, where a person may make fun of another for their distinguishing characteristics without realizing that doing so is far more comfortable from within the demographic majority,” he said.