An Australian radio host has reportedly gone off her middle name, Ellen, because it “sounds a bit lez”.
Jackie O, 37, whose full name is Jacqueline Ellen Marie Henderson, presents the most popular breakfast radio show in Australia.
‘Kyle and Jackie O’, which she co-hosts with Kyle Sandilands, is broadcast by Sydney’s 2DayFM.
She has been slammed for saying the “lesbian” connotations of her name were the reason she dislikes it.
Middle names were the topic of discussion on the show yesterday, Australia’s Daily Telegraph reports.
Gay and lesbian rights groups say it was a clear reference to US comedian and TV personality Ellen DeGeneres.
Senthorum Raj from Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby said: “Comments that equate a person’s sexual orientation in a derisory way send a harmful, broader message that that sort of ridicule is acceptable, and that is something we actively try and speak up against and challenge.
“Generally we need to be more careful.”
A representative of 2DayFM’s owners told Australia’s Daily Telegraph yesterday that the Jackie O would not be making any further comment about the incident.
The two presenters were the subject of controversy in 2009 after a 14-year-old girl’s participation in a lie detector stunt went badly wrong.
In the live segment broadcast on 29 July, the girl was questioned on her experience with sex and drugs by her mother, along with Jackie O and Sandilands.
After initially protesting that she was scared to participate, the girl agreed to answer some questions.
Her mother asked “Have you ever had sex?”
The girl revealed she had been raped at the age of 12 and the mother had been aware of it.
After a long pause, Sandilands then asked: “Right. And is that the only experience you’ve had?”
Jackie O apologised repeatedly to the girl saying they had not been aware of the incident, and immediately offered her counselling, terminating the segment.