Advertisers desert shock jock’s show over Ardern comments
BIG-name advertisers are turning their backs on shock jock Alan Jones amid widespread condemnation over his "appalling" comments about New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern.
The controversy began last Thursday, when the 2GB host attacked Ms Ardern on-air after she criticised Australia's climate change policies.
The 78-year-old unleashed an extraordinary spray in response, labelling the respected leader a "complete clown".
"She's a clown, Jacinda Ardern; a complete clown,'' Mr Jones said.
"I just wonder whether Scott Morrison is going to be fully briefed to shove a sock down her throat.''
He went on to describe her as "a swallower" of the climate change "hoax" and a "joke".
"She is a joke, this woman; an absolute and utter lightweight," he said on social media.
Within hours, Mr Jones faced an onslaught of criticism from Aussies and international leaders alike.
Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama was one of the first to slam Mr Jones on Twitter.
"The people of the Pacific, forced to abandon their homes due to climate change, don't have that luxury," he tweeted.
"Try saying that to a Tuvaluan child pleading for help."
Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also weighed in, posting: "Jones should also apologise to @jacindaardern for his latest misogynistic rant."
Since then, a slew of companies - including Anytime Fitness, Snooze, Koala and ME Bank - have revealed they are pulling their ads from Mr Jones' show.
In a tweet, Koala mattresses told 2GB it was "time to wake up".
"Climate change is real, violence against women starts with words and the bloke has had too many chances," Koala wrote in a pointed reference to Jones's reactionary views.
This morning, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg also weighed into the debate, but defended Mr Jones on ABC's News Breakfast.
When host Michael Rowland asked whether it was time for Mr Jones to be taken off the airwaves as a result of his "repeated violent language towards women, particularly women in power", Mr Frydenberg said: "Those comments were clearly inappropriate … but I do want to acknowledge Alan Jones is also a mainstay of our media."
Mr Frydenberg's failure to fully condemn Mr Jones angered many viewers.
.@mjrowland68: "Given Alan Jones' repeated violent language towards women, is it time for him to be taken off the airwaves?"— News Breakfast (@BreakfastNews) August 18, 2019
Treasurer @JoshFrydenberg: "Those comments were clearly inappropriate … but I do want to acknowledge Alan Jones is also a mainstay of our media"#auspol pic.twitter.com/s7zNGdu5BJ
Mr Jones has previously sparked outrage by suggesting former prime minister Julia Gillard should be "put into a chaff bag and thrown into the sea'', and saying her recently-deceased father had "died of shame".
In 2016, Mark Latham appeared on Mr Jones' show to criticise anti-violence campaigner Rosie Batty, and in 2017 Mr Jones published a tweet which many interpreted as a joke about the lynching of Sydney mayor Clover Moore.
Later that year, he also warned NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian that her head was "in a noose" over a state government mining policy.
$11.3m - can you believe it? You can guess what many people would rather hang 58 metres over George Street...and it’s not a Cloud Arch.— Alan Jones (@AlanJones) August 30, 2017
Mr Jones has apologised over his comments, but they have prompted many members of the public to point out the commentator's previous track record of concerning and potentially violent comments about women.
Alan Jones continues to be seriously triggered by women in power. His rage immediately goes to calling for violent acts towards them. We just want all his microphones to be disconnected.— Sally McManus (@sallymcmanus) August 15, 2019
The backlash has caused a mass exodus of advertisers from Mr Jones' show, with household names such as ME Bank, Snooze, Bing Lee and Amart all pulling their ads as a result.
Easy to tell someone to shove a sock down a throat when you’re sitting in the comfort of a studio. The people of the Pacific, forced to abandon their homes due to climate change, don’t have that luxury. Try saying it to a Tuvaluan child pleading for help. https://t.co/opU9mb50Qi— Frank Bainimarama (@FijiPM) August 15, 2019
Macquarie Media chairman Russell Tate has also publicly warned Mr Jones will be sacked if he makes similar comments in future.
2GB is owned by Macquarie Media, which Nine had a majority stake it.
Macquarie Media recently re-signed Jones on a multimillion-dollar contract for a further two years.
Meanwhile, Ms Ardern has brushed off the offensive remarks.
"I don't know that I'm going to give that the light of day, that comment. I think I'll just leave it where it is," she said.
Koala has cut ties with Alan Jones. We’re a significant buyer in the medium, and it’s something we should have done earlier. Climate change is real, violence against women starts with words and the bloke has had too many chances. @2GB873 time to wake up.— Koala (@KoalaMattress) August 19, 2019
Hi all, just an update from ME. Thanks for your feedback - we take this very seriously and these types of comments don't reflect our values. We've expressed our concerns to 2GB and have pulled advertising. Thanks - Annabelle— ME (@mebank) August 16, 2019
If there's one thing we can know for sure, it's that there's basically no upper limit of verbal attacks Jones can launch on women in public life that would disqualify him from his public role. If it was going to happen, it would have happened already. pic.twitter.com/JrdJ7BjSD0— Ketan Joshi (@KetanJ0) August 15, 2019
32 women have been killed by violence in Australia so far this year. Words matter.— Belinda Barnet (@manjusrii) August 15, 2019
Alan Jones: “I just wonder whether Scott Morrison is going to be fully briefed to shove a sock down her throat. https://t.co/HgdvznMaF5
ALAN JONES ADVERTISER LIST 16/08/19— 💧 Sleeping Giants Oz 📣 (@slpng_giants_oz) 15 August 2019
Alan Jones is a toxic misogynist now blaming social media for misrepresenting his "shove a sock down her throat" comment
Let his advertisers know how you feel
Contact as many as you like/can: cc @slpng_giants_oz
Please B RESPECTFUL#Auspol pic.twitter.com/jXRWvE9okK
have you noticed that many old men are so threatened by successful & assertive women & girls like AOC, Jacinta Ardern & Greta Thunberg, that they threaten them with violence ?— Josh Bornstein (@JoshBBornstein) August 15, 2019