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Kyle Sandilands Jackie O protesters at KIIS FM studios want him sacked

Dozens of furious protesters gathered at KIIS FM’s Sydney office on Monday morning to demonstrate against radio star Kyle Sandilands over his ‘ghastly’ religious joke.

Sandilands, 48, outraged Christian and Muslim groups on September 18 after joking the Virgin Mary wasn’t actually a virgin and was instead impregnated ‘behind a camel shed’. 

The radio presenter fled Sydney to a mansion in Los Angeles last Tuesday, where he remains holed up waiting for the controversy to pass after receiving death threats.

Sandilands broadcast yet another public apology just after 6am on Monday from the private studio inside the LA mansion. 

But despite his apology, about 50 protesters – including religious nuns and ministers – demonstrated outside KIIS FM’s Macquarie Park studios on Monday morning, amid ongoing calls for him to be sacked.

Dozens of furious protesters gathered outside KIIS FM’s Sydney office on Monday morning to demonstrate against shock jock Kyle Sandilands, after his comments about the ‘Virgin Mary’

Protest organiser Georgie Mark (right), of the Maronite Church, told Daily Mail Australia that Sandilands should not be allowed to get away with making fun of religion

Protest organiser Georgie Mark (right), of the Maronite Church, told Daily Mail Australia that Sandilands should not be allowed to get away with making fun of religion

Members of the Catholic, Malkite, Greek Orthodox and various other churches gathered at the front of KIIS FM's Macquaire Park headquarters on Monday morning

Members of the Catholic, Malkite, Greek Orthodox and various other churches gathered at the front of KIIS FM’s Macquaire Park headquarters on Monday morning

Sandilands, pictured last week outside the Los Angeles mansion where he remains holed up, offered an unreserved apology for his comments on radio on Monday morning

Sandilands, pictured last week outside the Los Angeles mansion where he remains holed up, offered an unreserved apology for his comments on radio on Monday morning

Catholic Maronite and protest organiser Georgie Mark claimed Sandilands should not be allowed to get away with making fun of religion.

He compared the controversy to the furore around Wallabies star Israel Folau who was sacked for posting a religious tweet that was deemed homophobic.

‘Israel Folau got sacked for breaching a contract and lost $6 million dollars for standing up for what he believes in, but Kyle Sandilands will probably make $6 million for breaching a contract… that’s why Israel Folau is more of a man than Kyle,’ Mr Mark told Daily Mail Australia.

‘Israel was sacked for preaching repentance, while Kyle gets a holiday for preaching hate. Where’s the justice in that?

‘Mother Mary and Jesus don’t need our protection, we need her protection, from people thinking that religious freedom and freedom of speech gives them the right to mock believers.’

In his comments on September 18, Sandilands said religious people were ‘dumb’ for believing that Mary was a virgin.

‘Someone chock-a-blocked her behind the camel shed… You might believe everything that’s written down 2,000 years ago to be absolutely accurate and good on you, you’re dumb. Dumb as dog s**t,’ he said. 

 However, Mr Mark said ‘chock-a-block’ was a ‘sexual term’ so Sandilands had been insinuating the Virgin Mary has sex with more than one man.

Despite calls for him to be sacked, Sandilands has received the backing of KIIS FM's bosses to continue on his top-rating show alongside Jackie O Henderson (the duo are pictured together)

Despite calls for him to be sacked, Sandilands has received the backing of KIIS FM’s bosses to continue on his top-rating show alongside Jackie O Henderson (the duo are pictured together)

An employee of Australian Radio Network (ARN), the company that owns KIIS FM, came out to talk to Mr Mark under a police escort

An employee of Australian Radio Network (ARN), the company that owns KIIS FM, came out to talk to Mr Mark under a police escort

Mr Mark (right) said Sandilands had essentially called Mary 'a w***e and a s**t' which he said was degrading to women in general

Mr Mark (right) said Sandilands had essentially called Mary ‘a w***e and a s**t’ which he said was degrading to women in general

Mr Mark and protesters compared the controversy to the furore around Wallabies star Israel Folau who was sacked for posting a religious tweet that was deemed homophobic

Mr Mark and protesters compared the controversy to the furore around Wallabies star Israel Folau who was sacked for posting a religious tweet that was deemed homophobic

In his comments on September 18, Sandilands said religious people were 'dumb' for believing that Mary was a virgin

In his comments on September 18, Sandilands said religious people were ‘dumb’ for believing that Mary was a virgin

Security guards were maintaining a visible presence outside the KIIS FM studios on Monday

Security guards were maintaining a visible presence outside the KIIS FM studios on Monday

‘This classifies her as a w***e and a s**t, which in my eyes is the most degrading thing… it is a degrading term to women in general.’

Mr Mark was joined by members of the Catholic, Malkite, Greek Orthodox and various other churches on Monday.

He said it would be the last time they protested at the KIIS FM headquarters.

‘We forgive you Kyle, we forgive you, but we don’t forgive your message,’ Mr Mark said.

‘We’re in small numbers but people don’t realise it’s the small numbers that make all the difference.

‘You’d rather be standing with 10 or 12 lions, than thousands of sheep.’

It comes after Sandilands issued a heartfelt apology for his controversial ‘joke’ about the Virgin Mary, telling listeners of The Kyle and Jackie O Show he deeply regrets what he said. 

After issuing a statement through his PR team, and apologising for a second time when confronted by paparazzi outside his Los Angeles home last week, Kyle addressed his listeners directly for the first time on Monday. 

Speaking out: Kyle Sandilands has issued a heartfelt apology for his controversial 'joke' about the Virgin Mary, telling listeners of The Kyle and Jackie O Show he deeply regrets what he said

Speaking out: Kyle Sandilands has issued a heartfelt apology for his controversial ‘joke’ about the Virgin Mary, telling listeners of The Kyle and Jackie O Show he deeply regrets what he said

Their share of the blame: Kyle's co-host Jackie 'O' Henderson (pictured) and KIIS FM's newsreader Brooklyn Ross also apologised for laughing at his joke

Their share of the blame: Kyle’s co-host Jackie ‘O’ Henderson (pictured) and KIIS FM’s newsreader Brooklyn Ross also apologised for laughing at his joke

Kyle addressed the ‘elephant in the room’ shortly after 6am, telling listeners he wanted to clear things up after the Virgin Mary controversy had dominated headlines during the September non-ratings period.

He began with a heartfelt apology, saying he didn’t realise the gravity of what he’d said until his phone number was leaked online and began receiving angry calls from religious people.

He claimed that some callers were ‘aggro’, others were threatening but most were ordinary listeners who were simply ‘disappointed’ by his comments. 

Kyle, who was speaking from a home studio in LA, said that the incident had been enlightening for him as he didn’t realise he’d ‘stepped on the beliefs of other people’ until listeners had contacted him directly.

What was Kyle’s joke? 

On September 18, Kyle offended thousands of listeners – and attracted 150 formal complaints to media watchdog ACMA – by saying the Virgin Mary wasn’t actually a virgin at all.

‘I thought Mary was his [Jesus Christ’s] girlfriend but apparently it was the mother,’ he said.

‘And the mother lied obviously and told everyone, ‘Nah I got pregnant by a magical ghost’. Bulls**t.

‘Someone chock-a-blocked her behind the camel shed… You might believe everything that’s written down 2,000 years ago to be absolutely accurate and good on you, you’re dumb. Dumb as dog s**t.’ 

The segment went unnoticed at the time, but went viral days later when it was shared to KIIS FM’s social media channels. 

‘I didn’t realise the gravity of it. I upset a lot of people,’ he said. ‘Even friends of mine were like, ‘Bro how could you say something so dumb like that?”

The KIIS FM star said that he ‘only wanted to make people laugh’ and emphasised that the joke was ‘not planned’ in any way.

Kyle confessed that the worst part of the whole experience what that people close to him had received death threats over what he’d said on air.

But he made it clear to naysayers that he won’t be quitting his job.

‘I am going to quit? No. Am I going to get fired? No. Am I sorry. Absolutely I am sorry because, as I’ve said, I never intended to purposely upset anyone. Obviously I have upset people and I am sorry for it. There is nothing else I can do. We have all made mistakes in our life and this is just one of the many I have made.’ 

Kyle’s co-host Jackie ‘O’ Henderson and KIIS FM’s newsreader Brooklyn Ross also apologised for laughing at his joke. 

Jackie explained that she’d been bombarded with Instagram direct messages from ‘loyal listeners’ of the show who were devastated by Kyle’s remarks.

‘I felt so terrible that we had hurt them so much. They were our loyal listeners,’ she said. ‘They couldn’t believe you would say something like this.’ 

Kyle concluded by saying ‘there’s nothing else [he] can do or say’ to make up for what happened, and that he accepts he has probably lost listeners.

‘If you want to stay, stay. If not, don’t,’ he said, adding that he’d invited Christian and Muslim leaders to speak on the show but they were yet to accept the offer.

Following the on-air apology, Kyle and Jackie took calls from several listeners, with whom they discussed the Virgin Mary joke and related religious issues.

Learning moment: Kyle said that the incident had been enlightening for him as he didn't realise he'd 'stepped on the beliefs of other people' until listeners had contacted him directly

Learning moment: Kyle said that the incident had been enlightening for him as he didn’t realise he’d ‘stepped on the beliefs of other people’ until listeners had contacted him directly

On September 18, Kyle offended thousands of listeners – and attracted 150 formal complaints to media watchdog ACMA – by joking that the Virgin Mary wasn’t actually a virgin at all.

‘I thought Mary was his [Jesus Christ’s] girlfriend but apparently it was the mother,’ he said. ‘And the mother lied obviously and told everyone, ‘Nah I got pregnant by a magical ghost’. Bulls**t.

‘Someone chock-a-blocked her behind the camel shed… You might believe everything that’s written down 2,000 years ago to be absolutely accurate and good on you, you’re dumb. Dumb as dog s**t.’ 

The segment went unnoticed at the time, but went viral days later when it was shared to KIIS FM’s social media channels. It was later deleted following a backlash.

A day after the uproar made headlines, Kyle issued a formal apology through his public relations team.

He said: ‘I’m sorry if I offended anyone with my comments. Everyone is entitled to their own religious beliefs and I’m fully supportive of that right.’

Kyle issued a second apology on Wednesday, when he spoke to paparazzi outside his home in Los Angeles.

‘Sometimes I just say things as a joke and it offends some people,’ he said.

Banding together: Dozens of religious protesters flocked to KIIS FM's Sydney headquarters last Monday, demanding his immediate sacking. Pictured: Muslim and Christian activists

Banding together: Dozens of religious protesters flocked to KIIS FM’s Sydney headquarters last Monday, demanding his immediate sacking. Pictured: Muslim and Christian activists

‘You don’t realise until you offend someone [and] when you hear about it, [you think]: ‘Oh f**k, that’s pretty s**t’.

‘When you’re a comedian you say funny things and you think you’re funny, but then you don’t realise you piss some people off.

‘I already put a statement out saying I never meant to p**s anyone off, I never meant to hurt anyone – I’m here to make people laugh, not to make them angry.’

Kyle and his staff members had received death threats in the wake of his offensive comments, prompting him hire security officers to patrol his Sydney home while he stayed in LA.

Police were called to his street on Wednesday after receiving reports of a suspicious vehicle, with three marked cars pulling up next to his house shortly before midday. 

Officers spoke to nearby residents but did not enter the property Kyle shares with his girlfriend Imogen Anthony. 

NSW Police later confirmed there was no threat to Kyle or his property. 

Furious: One of the protesters was Muslim community leader Steve Dabliz (pictured), who later told Daily Mail Australia he was 'outraged' and 'distressed' over what Kyle said on air

Furious: One of the protesters was Muslim community leader Steve Dabliz (pictured), who later told Daily Mail Australia he was ‘outraged’ and ‘distressed’ over what Kyle said on air 

Protest: Mr Dabliz was among the protesters gathered outside KIIS FM's studios in North Ryde, Sydney last  Monday. Pictured: Kyle Sandilands

Protest: Mr Dabliz (circled) was among the protesters gathered outside KIIS FM's studios in North Ryde, Sydney last Monday

Protest: Mr Dabliz (circled, right) was among the protesters gathered outside KIIS FM’s studios in North Ryde, Sydney last Monday. Pictured left: Kyle Sandilands

In addition, radio watchdog Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) received 150 complaints about the Virgin Mary segment.

‘Under the co-regulatory system, the ACMA will refer complaints to the broadcaster in the first instance,’ a spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia.

‘If the complainant does not receive a response from the broadcaster within 60 days, or is not satisfied with the response, they may refer their complaint to the ACMA.’

Dozens of religious protesters flocked to KIIS FM’s Sydney headquarters last Monday, demanding Kyle’s immediate sacking. 

One of the protesters was Muslim community leader Steve Dabliz, who later told Daily Mail Australia he was ‘outraged’ and ‘distressed’ over what Kyle said on air.

‘Kyle hasn’t just insulted close to four billion Christians and Muslims worldwide, but more importantly, he has mocked and denigrated the Blessed Virgin Mary,’ he said. 

‘This kind of behaviour is disgusting, it’s unacceptable and surely cannot go unpunished.

‘It’s an unprecedented outburst which has certainly drawn the Muslim and Christian communities together and we await some positive action from Kyle’s employers.’

Kyle and his staff had received death threats in the wake of his offensive comments, prompting him hire security officers to patrol his Sydney home while he stayed in LA. Pictured: Police outside Kyle's Sydney home on Wednesday after receiving reports of a suspicious vehicle

Kyle and his staff had received death threats in the wake of his offensive comments, prompting him hire security officers to patrol his Sydney home while he stayed in LA. Pictured: Police outside Kyle’s Sydney home on Wednesday after receiving reports of a suspicious vehicle

'He has offended so many people!' Religious Australians demanded that KIIS FM take action against Kyle, with hundreds flocking to Facebook to angrily call for his sacking

‘He has offended so many people!’ Religious Australians demanded that KIIS FM take action against Kyle, with hundreds flocking to Facebook to angrily call for his sacking

Social media has been divided over the radio star’s joke, with some supporting his right to freedom of speech and others calling for him to be sacked.

‘Yes, everyone is entitled to their opinion but with respect and grace! He has offended so many people and gone too far!’ one listener wrote.

‘The lady laughing with him [Jackie] should be sacked as well, but then as Jesus says: ‘Forgive them… they don’t know what they say’,’ another commented.

On the other side of the argument, one supporter wrote: ‘This is why Kyle is worth millions of dollars. His whole career is built on a foundation of crude and insensitive remarks and jokes. 

‘I think he is hilarious. If you don’t like him or are a sensitive Sally, don’t listen to him.’

Another commented: ‘Seriously… everyone is entitled to their own opinions, so why should Kyle’s opinion be any different? Love ya, Kyle. Keep up the good work.’

Divided: Social media has been divided over Kyle's joke, with some supporting his right to freedom of speech and others calling for him to be sacked. Pictured: Kyle in August 2018

Divided: Social media has been divided over Kyle’s joke, with some supporting his right to freedom of speech and others calling for him to be sacked. Pictured: Kyle in August 2018 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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