The ABC has been slammed after its comedy show Tonightly with Tom Ballard targeted new Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Christian faith.
The skit, performed on Monday night by comedians Bridie Connell and Wyatt Nixon-Lloyd, tried to connect the nation’s refugee policy to Mr Morrison’s religious beliefs.
A song by the duo, who dubbed themselves the ‘Shadow Ministers’, featured lyrics such as: ‘ScoMo is under the spell of Jesus’ charm, and kids are under safety watch for self-harm.’
Other controversial lyrics included: ‘We love Jesus, Jesus, but not refugee-us’ and ‘to do what pleases Jesus, deny them all visas.’
The ABC has been criticised after allowing a skit, performed by comedians Bridie Connell and Wyatt Nixon-Lloyd (pictured) which took aim at the new Prime Minister’s Christian faith
Mr Morrison is Australia’s first Pentecostal Prime Minister, and vowed in December last year to fight back against discrimination and mockery of religious groups.
In his maiden speech, he said: ‘My personal faith in Jesus Christ is not a political agenda.’
However, some have been quick to use it against him.
Tonightly with Tom Ballard (pictured) was cancelled after two seasons, and was called out for consistently pushing boundaries
Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured), who is less than a week into his term, was the subject of a Tonightly sketch that took aim at his faith
Many on social media were quick to defend the new Prime Minister, who is less than a week into his term.
On a Facebook response to the Tonightly act, one wrote: ‘This is abhorrent editorial garbage. Completely disrespecting the views of many Australians and faith.’
‘Would they do this if he was a Muslim?’ another asked.
Their sentiment was seconded by Peter Kurti from the Centre for independent Studies.
‘The show would probably not mock the religious beliefs of Ed Husic, Islam, or Josh Frydenberg, Judaism,’ he said, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Some online accused Tom Ballard of having an agenda against the Christian faith
Another questioned whether the show would go the same direction if the target was a Muslim
‘This is abhorrent editorial garbage,’ one viewer said of the controversial sketch
One of the lyrics, which took aim at Mr Morrison voting against the same-sex marriage vote, was attacked by a viewer who says that a number of Christian musicians advocated the cause
Some defended the sketch, saying it was taking issue with policy, as opposed to the religion
NSW opposition education spokesman, Jihad Dib said: ‘I think once it gets into a personal issue about someone’s faith … then I think we’re going down the wrong path.’
According to the Daily Telegraph, an ABC spokesman defended Tonightly, saying it regularly satirised ‘people in positions of authority, regardless of their race, gender or religious beliefs’.
Tonightly was ear;oer cancelled after two seasons, with its final show scheduled for September 7.
‘Tonightly deliberately pushed boundaries to inform and entertain,’ an ABC spokesperson said.