Rugby is a game I don’t watch, Gone with the Wind is a film that I have never sat through. And then there is the ABC.
Not long ago I heard a piece about bullying, I was on the move between places of work. I recall the ABC presenter, shocked she was, by the awful news that some phenomenally high percentage of people had been sworn at work in the last six months. She didn’t mention that 100% of the diligent listeners or watchers of ABC will have heard all of the same language on air in the past six months.
Which brings us to Warren Ryan, a rugby commentator, who managed to penetrate my consciousness in the course of his last call for the ABC …
The premiership-winning coach, who made a successful transition to the media, was alleged to have used the term “old darky” during the call of the recent Sydney Roosters-Canterbury match.
The 73-year-old made no apologies for the remark, which has effectively cut short a career spanning more than two decades at the station.
Well, frankly my dear …
It seems that the reason for this lapse of judgement was that the argument occurring on field between umpire and player bore a strong resemblance, in Mr Ryan’s mind at least, to a scene in Gone With the Wind, from which he was quoting. He and his fellow commentator were immediately suspended.
It’s quittin time for Mr Ryan who started out with St George in 1964 as a player, went on to be a two-time premiership-winning coach and subsequently a much loved man on the microphone …
“The ABC has suspended me pending an investigation, so I have resigned to save them the trouble of conducting it,” Ryan said.
So listen up you dogfuckers “We will not tolerate any racism here on the ABC”.
Which says what exactly?
Is it the case that Mr Joe Average is sufficiently robust to withstand language that would have been punishable by law in 1939 when Gone With the Wind was made, but people of colour are so feeble that hearing the word darky will trigger their PTSD?