EDDIE McGuire is in the hot seat, accused of making anti-Semitic comments following the latest episode of his popular game show.
The veteran host and Collingwood president has been criticised for a throwaway comment toward the end of last night’s program.
Vying to win $20,000 contestant Serena Greenberg said she hoped to pay for her parent’s trip overseas so they could see their grandchildren.
“Your Dad’s not Jewish, is he?’’ McGuire asked.
“Yes,’’ replied Ms Greenberg.
“So you have a Jewish father and a Scottish mother,’’ McGuire responded. “I reckon it would have been hard getting pocket money from them!”
The Anti-Defamation Commission, Australia’s leading civil rights organisation confirmed this morning it had received several complaints regarding the exchange.
Chairman Dr Dvir Abramovich said the comments were disappointing.
“While we appreciate the value of humour and give entertainers a lot of leeway, public figures need to show sensitivity and be careful not to traffic in age-old hurtful and demeaning stereotypes, especially those commonly associated with anti-Semitic myths,’’ Dr Abramovich said.
“Denigrating any group by implying that they are stingy and cheap is always inappropriate and never funny.’’
McGuire, who has been embroiled in several gaffes in recent years, told the Herald Sun it was not intended to be anything other than a joke.
“It was about Scottish people, of which I am one,’’ he said.
“It was a joke aimed at myself and my family. We had a laugh, we moved on.’’
But Dr Abramovich said such thoughtless language only reinforced harmful, pre-existing prejudices.
“I am surprised that the producer chose to leave that remark in,’’ he said.
“And though he may not be aware of this, I will remind Eddie that it is often young people who the pay the price for such slurs by being taunted at school with crude, damaging smears. “The bottom line: such jokes are never acceptable.”
The Nine Network is yet to comment on the matter.