UPDATE: 1:30 EST
Looks like 2DayFM is facing claims that cancelling Michael Christian and Mel Greig’s radio show is straight hypocrisy. According to TMZ, this isn’t the first time that the radio station has been the host of dangerous and controversial pranks:
2DayFM‘s “Kyle and Jackie O” show aired a segment called “Desperate Acts” back in 2009 … where a listener was given $1,000 to call her sister and convince her their mother was injured, bleeding, and in need of medical attention.
It worked … the sister called 911 and sent paramedics speeding to the mother, who was totally fine.
That hoax prompted a police investigation.
Additionally, 2DayFM has reportedly been on probation multiple times for violating Australia’s broadcast code.
The Kyle and Jackie O show was not cancelled, even after it seemed that these pranks could intentionally hurt someone. And while it is argued that Greig and Christian’s royal prank led to Jacintha Saldahna’s death, we doubt that was the intention.
Is 2DayFM being fair?
UPDATE: 9:45 EST
The radio show has officially been cancelled! TMZ reports:
The company that owns the radio station responsible for the Kate Middleton radio prank says it has “terminated” the show … and will implement “a company-wide suspension of ‘prank’ calls.”
Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) issued the statement this morning saying it still feels “deep regret” for the death of hospital nurse Jacintha Saldanha following the prank … and “take the events of the last few days very seriously.”
SCA says it has taken the following action:
– The suspension of all advertising on 2Day FM until further notice;
– The termination of 2Day FM’s Hot 30 show;
– A Company-wide suspension of “prank” calls
– A comprehensive review of relevant company policies and processes
In their first interview since London nurseJacintha Saldahna was found dead in an apparent suicide after a disastrous prank phone call, two Australian radio hosts are finally speaking out and apologizing for their antics.
2DayFM radio DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian spoke publicly about the prank that duped the nurse for the first time in a televised interview with Australia’s “A Current Affair,” saying they were “gutted, shattered, and heartbroken.”
“There’s not a minute that goes by that we don’t think about her family and what they must be going through,” Greig said, voice shaking. “And the thought that we may have played a part in that is gut-wrenching.”
The two Australian DJs became part of an unexpected tragedy when Duchess Kate Middleton was hospitalized last week after suffering acute morning sickness following the announcement of her pregnancy. The DJs called into the hospital pretending to be the Queen, asking for a report on Middleton’s health. Nurse Jacintha Saldahna actually gave up valuable information regarding Middleton’s health to the pranksters – and was later found dead of an apparent suicide.
The DJs said that when the idea for the call came up in a team meeting, no one expected that they would actually be put through to the Duchess’ ward.
“We just assumed we’d get cut off at every single point and that’d be it,” Christian said.
“The joke 100 percent was on us,” he said. “The idea was never, ‘Let’s call up and get through to Kate,’ or ‘Let’s speak to a nurse.’ The joke was our accents are horrible, they don’t sound anything like who they’re intended to be.”
“The entertainment value was in us,” Greig added. “It was meant to be in our silly accents. That’s where it was meant to end.”
Authorities have yet to release Jacintha’s cause of death, but public outrage over the prank has placed blame on the stress the prank phone call may have caused the 46-year-old nurse.
As of now, the DJs have been taken off the air indefinitely.
This public apology has some defending the DJs’ decision to call Kate Middleton’s hospital, because they never thought they would get through.
Rhys Holleran, CEO of 2DayFM’s parent company Southern Cross Austereo, has called Saldanha’s death a tragedy, but defended the prank as a standard part of radio culture. He has also insisted the station had not broken any laws and had adhered to procedures. On Monday, Holleran said the station had tried at least five times to contact the hospital to discuss the prank before it went to air.
We wonder, did the radio hosts take it too far?
PHOTO SOURCE: AP/AAP IMAGE/ SOUTHERN CROSS AUSTEREO SYDNEY