The WIN Network has been caught up in a Sky News furore over comments about “slanty-eyed” Chinese that aired on one of its digital channels last week.
In September the network announced a partnership with Sky that would create the channel Sky News on WIN.
The channel airs a wide selection of Sky News content on free-to-air TV, including the controversial “right at night” programming that features a right-wing slant.
At the time of the channel’s launch WIN CEO Andrew Lancaster said it wasn’t “a bad thing” if the shows were a little controversial from time to time.
But last week, the nightly show Outsiders – which airs on Sky News on WIN at 11pm Monday to Thursday – went too far.
In an episode that aired last week, host Ross Cameron referred to “20,000 black-haired, slanty-eyed, yellow-skinned Chinese desperate to get into Disneyland”.
Sky News boss Paul Whittaker took action on Friday, sacking Cameron over his “totally unacceptable” language.
"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,” Mr Whittaker said.
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A WIN spokeswoman specified the network had a “program supply agreement” with Sky.
She confirmed the episode had aired on its digital channel.
“Sky News on WIN aired the program in question after which it was discussed at length with Sky News management,” the spokeswoman said.
“WIN is supportive of the actions taken.”
The spokeswoman declined to state whether the network was concerned over a possible breach of the Commercial Television Industry code of practice, which governs free-to-air channels.
The code states a licencee must not include material which “is likely to seriously distress or seriously offend a substantial number of viewers”.