Two Australian sports commentators who made a series of remarks about men’s figure skating at the Winter Olympics have been accused of homophobia.
Channel Nine has received more than a dozen complaints about presenters Eddie McGuire and Mick Molloy, while social media networks have been buzzing over the pair’s comments.
While discussing the men’s figure skating, Molloy said: “They don’t leave anything in the locker room these blokes do they?”
McGuire interrupted: “They don’t leave anything in the closet either do they?”
Molloy then joked that McGuire could get into trouble for the comment but then said described another skater’s costume as something even singer Prince would not wear.
Another competitor’s costume was described by McGuire as “a bit of a broke back” – a reference to the gay cowboy film Brokeback Mountain.
“A bit of Brokeback Mountain exercises – you can’t wear that,” Molloy responded.
Molloy also made a quip while attempting to apologise for a contentious remark.
He said: “I suggested that there was a disaster happening at the ice skating rink because organisers had found out one of the male ice dancers wasn’t gay.
“And I apologise for that really sincerely.”
But when a skater came into shot wearing a black and pink outfit with a heart-shaped cushion, he said: “But it definitely wasn’t this guy.”
The pair are known for their schoolboy brand of humour in Australia, but the remarks have provoked a backlash with some critics on a Facebook group demanding that they be replaced.
Channel Nine has said it has received some complaints but has not given a formal response.
Australian gay rights activist Gary Burns said Molloy and McGuire should be sacked for their remarks.
He told ABC News: “It has caused a lot of angst and discussion within the gay and lesbian community because people can’t understand why these comments would be allowed to happen on national television.
“Channel Nine should sack both of them because they’re not fit to be broadcasters or to be involved in a television network when they use this kind of banter.”