tip off

Eddie and Mick feel the heat in Vancouver gay row

Channel Nine has been hit with a blizzard of complaints over its Winter Olympics coverage, with host Eddie McGuire and Melbourne comedian Mick Molloy in the firing line over “homophobic” comments targeting figure skating champion Johnny Weir.

johnny

Last night, during Nine’s primetime “highlights package”, Eddie and sidekick Mick decided to whip out the schoolboy sniggering as they gave their considered assessments of Weir’s Vancouver routine. The graceful Weir, who has not formally “outed” himself, appeared to be too much for the duo to bear. Let’s go to the transcript. (We’d go to the tape, but copyright issues mean we’d be stuck in the courts for decades. You can see footage of Weir skating to Lady Gaga here).

EDDIE MCGUIRE:  …what about the fashion at the ice skating?

MICK MOLLOY:  They don’t leave anything in the locker room those blokes.
EDDIE: They leave nothing…
MICK: When they get out there…
EDDIE: They don’t leave anything in the closet either do they? [Laughs].
MICK: They [laughs], well they — careful you’ll get yourself into trouble there…
EDDIE: Sorry mate.

But the daring duo weren’t finished.

MICK: Look at this guy, it was like one of those fake tuxedos that you — even Prince saw that and went, oh hang on, you can’t go out wearing that. Oh look out, the hay seed look’s in this year. What is that?
EDDIE: A bit of broke back?
MICK:  A bit of Brokeback Mountain exercise. You can’t wear it. They’re very flamboyant, they love a bit of colour as we said.

In the minutes after the exchange, Twitter lit up in anger, with a torrent of criticism demanding McGuire be booted, alongside a number of other general gripes over the Footy Show-style jocularity and gratuitous repeats that have dominated Nine’s coverage.

  • @Shhhannon Just saw Eddie McGuire step in it with an inappropriate comment about a male ice-skater. Watch this space for controversy!
  • @henrys_creek If Eddie McGuire wasn’t enough of a wanker, now makes quite a homophobic quip with Johnny Weir. Bastard.
  • @bottled_love: Oh haha…. let’s make jokes about the male figure skaters being gay… groundbreaking televisual wit right there Eddie McGuire
  • @linclefevre Go on Eddie McGuire. Make some more gay jokes. Dick.
  • @nilesedge Ugggh who let Eddie mcguire near the winter olympics?? He’s a f-cking football yob and that’s it
  • @dominiquelam Eddie McGuire you are such a douche bag. One rich douche bag.
  • @abbiemc OMG Eddie McGuire. “they don’t leave much in the closet” “brokeback mountain” SHUT UP. I hope there are complaints. Many.
  • @Selenadover OMG, did Eddie McGuire just suggest Johnny Weir is less than manly?
  • @chicachow Can’t decide what he finds more offensive: channel nine’s vaguely ho-ophobic figure skating commentating or Eddie mcguire’s face.
  • @ozreedgal: eddie mcguire has made a number of little digs about competitors’ s-xuality since I’ve been watching 2night. He’s obsessed #olympics.

The opprobrium then promptly spread to Facebook, with a group “Eddie Mcguire is ruining the 2010 Winter Olympics coverage” bursting this morning with anti-Eddie vitriol. The Facebook page has said that it has submitted several formal complaint letters to the relevent department at Channel Nine.

Twitterers also pointed to “patronising” interviews McGuire has conducted with Winter Olympics superstars, including female figure skater Katarina Witt, where Witt’s 1998 Playboy front cover was dredged up again to her visible dismay.

Nine paid about $100 million alongside broadcast partners Foxtel for the TV rights to the 2010 and 2012 games. But the ratings have been disappointing, with the network coming in third last night behind Seven’s Gangs of Oz and Ten’s So You Think You Can Dance Australia.

There is also serious chatter that the games themselves are in trouble: this Reuters article (“Vancouver’s Games in danger of sinking into meltwater”) wraps the bad news so far, with the opening-day death of Nodar Kumaritashvili snowballing into problems over spectator safety concerns, a lack of the white stuff and protests over the millions wasted while Vancouver struggles with the social fallout from its Downtown Eastside slum area.

McGuire has amazingly continued with his Triple M breakfast radio slot from Vancouver, phoning in the banter to Melbourne each North American afternoon.

30
  • 1
    Rupert
    Posted Thursday, 18 February 2010 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    I think Eddie McGuire has always been the grinning face of mediocrity. From his days as a sporting presenter to his dubious appointment and failed tenure as head of Channel Nine, Eddie has struggled to convince that he anything other than a forgettable functionary.

    Now he’s delivering homophobic jokes. Mick Molloy is a comedian who has always pushed the boundaries regardless of the outcome. You’d expect Mick to carry on the way he has because that’s who he is; but Eddie’s comments bely his true character.

  • 2
    Bogdanovist
    Posted Thursday, 18 February 2010 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Olympic coverage is always crap on free to air because you have a sport product that needs to be sold to a wider audience than those who want to watch the sport because the rights are so expensive. So instead of good expert and informative commentary you get some over exposed network ‘personality’ commentating something they have no idea about, hence the inevitable ignorant and useless comments.

  • 3
    Neil Hunt
    Posted Thursday, 18 February 2010 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    The coverage on Foxtel of the Olympics has been brilliant. Warren Smith, a rugby league commentator has just been simply amazing at the ice skating, along with Belinda Noonan.
    I’ve not bothered switching on Channel 9 at all, and seeing this, do not regret it at all.

  • 4
    John james
    Posted Thursday, 18 February 2010 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Homophobic jokes! What next? Homophobic ice cream??
    Give me a break, guys?
    The homosexual lobby is in overdrive and over the top, as usual.

  • 5
    meski
    Posted Thursday, 18 February 2010 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Eddie’s a jerk, so why would you expect anything better than this? Blame Nine, who employed him to do this, knowing his track record of tastelessness. They wont sack him, he’s careful enough not to be over the line, despite the confected outrage.

  • 6
    Sancho
    Posted Thursday, 18 February 2010 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    I was a figure skater for a couple of years, and the assumption of homosexuality attached to it is irritating (especially since it’s often taken up to improve hockey skills) but, come on - this guy’s absolutely flaming.

    Molloy and McGuire haven’t ever been entertaining, and their comments were embarrassingly juvenile, but it’s ridiculous to get upset solely because they suggested that someone who is obviously gay is gay.

  • 7
    Fascinated
    Posted Thursday, 18 February 2010 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Eddie + triple axle = dont’ think so.

  • 8
    mandrellian
    Posted Thursday, 18 February 2010 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    LOL @ John James and his ‘homosexual lobby’ comment. But not because it’s funny.

    People are pissed off at Eddie, not because he pointed out the possibility that Weir is gay (honestly, not such a great deductive leap), but that he and Mick seem to think that being gay is some kind of punchline. Lots of people have moved on since the ’70s, clearly Eddie and Mick haven’t.

    People are also pissed off at Eddie because he’s pig-ignorant about the sports he’s discussing, his interviews with athletes are cringe-inducing and because he’s not funny or entertaining. Loads of people don’t get to watch the games during the day or on cable; having the nightly catchup on free tv is all we get. With that clown on the screen, bringing up everyone’s repressed memories of their embarrassing uncle at Christmas lunch, it’s little wonder ratings are tanking. It’s hard to believe ch.9 couldn’t find someone with a little more class, expertise or even simple people skills to do this job. Instead, they send a career bogan (and failed former station chief) to point and laugh at men in tights.

    Bone this lackwit, bone him hard and bone him now.

  • 9
    EngineeringReality
    Posted Thursday, 18 February 2010 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Eddie is a gimp. He should be locked away from the public and forgotten - more quickly than his stillborn attempts at humour are forgotten by anyone unfortunate enough to have paused during channel surfing to hear him.

    The Olympic coverage last night was the most depressing and sad view on the Olympics I have ever seen. The only things they were focusing on were the falls, mistakes and faults of all the athletes.

    We knew Eddie was jealous of anyone with talent - but this sad attempt at dragging down the best athletes humanity has to offer in order to anesthetise the pain in his starved ego was disgusting to watch.

    Way to waste $100 million Channel 9! I’m glad I’m not a shareholder.

  • 10
    SusieQ
    Posted Thursday, 18 February 2010 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Neil Hunt - great coverage on Foxtel, with mostly excellent commentators - the expert or ‘special’ comments people have (mostly) actually participated in these sports and know what they are talking about. And even Phil Ligget, the great cycling commentator, is doing a good job at the downhill skiing. Well worth the $50 investment.

    As for Eddie and Ch 9, well, anyone is fair game if there are ratings to be be boosted - it seems to work for the Footy Show………….

  • 11
    SonofMogh
    Posted Thursday, 18 February 2010 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Is anybody surprised, this from a Network that rates it’s female talent on *uckability. One just has to look at The Footy Shows to see that this sort of humour is encouraged. Just wait, tomorrow Fat Eddie & Mick will be doing the hosts in drag.

  • 12
    kim at allconsuming
    Posted Thursday, 18 February 2010 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Basically Eddie McGuire is treating his role like that of hosting a backyard barbie where he can chortle with his mates about every segment of the population they are not a part of and do not understand. Patronising and inappropriate with the women he’s interviewing, homophobic and oafish when it comes to others and basically completely out of his depth. It is depressing and frustrating for those of us who only have FTA TV as our viewing arena.

    Apart from Eddie, Channel 9s coverage has been woefully inadequate. Last night they could have easily shown several of the top male figure skaters but instead chose to replay the women’s luge and 500m speed skating finals which they had played the night before. It’s just excruciating on all levels.

    More of my thought are on my own blog over here: http://allconsuming.blogspot.com/2010/02/in-which-i-vent-my-frustration-with.html

  • 13
    Ben
    Posted Thursday, 18 February 2010 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Ultimately no suprise given Mick Molloy is the ratings kiss of death. Team him up with an Mr Overexposure himself and you get this

  • 14
    Paul Dixon
    Posted Thursday, 18 February 2010 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Eddie is a class A *ickhead, but we will have to deal with him for as long as he rates.

  • 15
    Jenny
    Posted Thursday, 18 February 2010 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Someone please correct me if I am wrong - which I hope I am - but for each one of us who find him utterly repulsive there must be scores more who love him - otherwise why would mainstream media keep him on the payroll? It makes me depressed about the sort of society we live in.

  • 16
    SusieQ
    Posted Thursday, 18 February 2010 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Sadly, Jenny, you may well be true………….

  • 17
    AR
    Posted Thursday, 18 February 2010 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Jenny & SusieQ - QED.

  • 18
    Andrew Elder
    Posted Thursday, 18 February 2010 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    This is the guy who said that he’d go gay for Sam Newman.

    Seriously though, as a business proposition Eddie doesn’t make sense. He means nothing to the people who watch the Games, and would be a turn-off with comments like that. Unlike other commenters I understand why people like McGuire - but is there one, just one, Australian who is watching the Games who wouldn’t if Eddie wasn’t commentating? If there was, Eddie’s comments would make that person wonder why they were watching some guy prance around an ice rink when they could turn over and watch something other than Channel Nine.

    A talking head who shunned existing viewers and failed to attract new ones - if Eddie McGuire was still running Channel Nine, he’d have that person’s head.

  • 19
    daveliberts
    Posted Thursday, 18 February 2010 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    Mick Molloy is funny as long as you like cheap gags. Basic, 70’s-era gay gags are as much of an effort as the guy would ever put in. Eddie’s a dickhead. Absolutely no news here.

  • 20
    Sancho
    Posted Thursday, 18 February 2010 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Molloy’s career is built upon looking and sounding like a suburban ignoramus with a year 10 education. Neanderthals identify with him, which is paradoxical because he’s actually quite intelligent and genuinely funny - check out his earlier work (earlier than The Late Show, where he found his niche as the bogan hero, which at that time was meant to be ironic. How sad to see him now, playing it for real.).

  • 21
    earnest scribbler
    Posted Friday, 19 February 2010 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Never understood what the attraction with Eddie was all about. He’s a chameleon, not unlike our dear leader. Overexposed and dull.

    Malloy plays to the thinking-man’s bogan, so no surprises there.

  • 22
    Johnfromplanetearth
    Posted Friday, 19 February 2010 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    I thought it was it spot on commentary! You’ll get no ‘Soft Language’ from McGuire and Molloy during the men’s figure skating. What did you all expect anyway?

  • 23
    Altakoi
    Posted Friday, 19 February 2010 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Sure, Eddie, no-one wants to be hot, young, gay, and talented. They all see you as an aspirational ideal. Laugh it up fat man.

  • 24
    Dez Hoy
    Posted Friday, 19 February 2010 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Of course Eddie Everywhere is a d*ckhead. As Dave points out, no news in that! I didn’t see that particular coverage, but I did see Eddie and Mick the day before Witt’s appearance, carrying on in that bollocking blokey bonhomie - that was cringeful enough.

    What really gets me is that taxpayers are subsidising this sh*t, and Eddie gets to stay in his mansion and live it large. It’s not the best commercial FTA TV can do, but sadly its not far off. Your taxes at work, people.

    If karma works, the Pies will end up recruiting a bunch of gay players, give Eddie the flick and appoint a woman as president. If not, the Pies lose, even if they win the flag.

  • 25
    kiwi 84
    Posted Friday, 19 February 2010 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Im a gay person and there is only so much homophobia you can take, Yes I have a sense of humor - but enough is enough. Im sick of all you heteros constantly taking the piss out of us gays. When you make fun of people it encourages homophobia, yes there is allways going to be homophobia but it does not need to be encouraged. Why do you think that GLBT teens are twice as likely to kill themselves ? Is it maybe because they don’t feel loved and accepted due to prejudice that stems from homophobia ? Its no joke. I can’t help but wonder if some of the people who laugher with Eddie and Mick also would laught at a GLBT persons funeral due to suicide. Get real and leave us alone, I cant help who I am.

  • 26
    Alexander Berkman
    Posted Sunday, 21 February 2010 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    @John James - Captain Peanut and His Five Knuckle Shuffle strikes again

  • 27
    BananaPrincess
    Posted Monday, 22 February 2010 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    god these guys are idiots, they obviously don’t think of the kid in a country town, thinking this is the official view of gaydom- what boring jerks.

  • 28
    SBH
    Posted Wednesday, 24 February 2010 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    so, is Mick Molloy actually gay or does his most recent comment confirm that he’s as big a dick head as Eddie.

    Please Dez Hoy some things just shouldn’t be laughed about.

  • 29
    Linda21
    Posted Wednesday, 24 February 2010 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    Did you take an assistance of a paper writing service for your supreme release? I guess that you really have good analysis essay creating skills. Thank you very much for your stuff!

  • 30
    MjF
    Posted Friday, 26 February 2010 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Having lived in the States for the previous 10 years I was looking forward to watching the Winter Olympics with Australian Coverage for a change. Much to my dismay between Channel Nine’s Eddie McGuire and Foxtel’s Belinda Noonan - WTF? Seriously what a pair of utter nit wits. Do we have no one else to provide professional, fair and accurate coverage and commentary? I realize the Winter Olympics is not at the top of our sporting Forte, but I truthfully sat there with my mouth gaping at the TV when both of them were providing commentary. On one hand you have the sublime and the other its definitely the ridiculous.

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