Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called the ABC ‘numpties’ after a comedy show mocked his Christian faith.
In a skit performed on the ABC’s Tonightly with Tom Ballard on Monday, comedians Bridie Connell and Wyatt Nixon-Lloyd tried to connect the nation’s refugee policy to Mr Morrison’s religious beliefs.
‘The ABC can be numpties every now and then, but my faith teaches me to love each other and to turn the other cheek,’ Mr Morrison told the Daily Telegraph.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured) has called the ABC ‘numpties’ after he was the subject of a Tonightly sketch that took aim at his faith
‘I’m the Prime Minister and I work for all Australians every day – I’m on their side. I’m about bringing Australians together, not about creating differences and pushing them apart.’
Mr Morrison denied watching the ABC segment.
The musical skit, performed by the pair 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 lyrics included: ‘We love Jesus, Jesus, but not refugee-us’ and ‘to do what pleases Jesus, deny them all visas.’
Reverend Dr Michael Jensen from St Mark’s Anglican Church said the skit was a ‘cheap shot’ and it would not have occurred if the Prime Minister was of the Muslim faith.
Hillsong Church Pastor Brian Houston claimed it was a double standard as the ABC is allowed to mock a white Christian male but minority groups are not targeted.
The skit was performed by comedians Bridie Connell and Wyatt Nixon-Lloyd (pictured) who took aim at the new Prime Minister’s Christian faith and compared it with the nation’s refugee policy
‘The vast majority of Australians would consider it unacceptable to ridicule someone for their faith, but sadly in some sections of the media, it is becoming common to denigrate people who unashamedly declare their Christian belief,’ he said.
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.
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.’
A social media user 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
Some defended the sketch, saying it was taking issue with policy, as opposed to the religion
‘Would they do this if he was a Muslim?’ another asked.
Tonightly host Tom Ballard tweeted on Thursday that he was unhappy with reporting from the Daily Telegraph.
‘To all the people saying ‘I bet you wouldn’t have the guts to make jokes about a MUSLIM’, you should know that I make jokes about Barack Obama all the time,’ he tweeted.
Tonightly was cancelled after two seasons, with its final show scheduled for September 7.
Tonightly host Tom Ballard tweeted on Thursday that he was unhappy with reporting from the Daily Telegraph (pictured)
Ballard responded to the social media criticism that he wouldn’t make jokes about Muslim people in a tweet (pictured)
Tonightly with Tom Ballard (pictured) was cancelled after two seasons, with its final show scheduled for September 7