Feb 18, 2010

Eddie and Mick feel the heat in Vancouver gay row

Mick Molloy and Eddie McGuire have prompted a blizzard of complaints to Nine with their "homophobic" schoolboy sniggering while commentating US figure skating champion Johnny Weir.

Andrew Crook — Former <em>Crikey</em> Senior Journalist

Andrew Crook

Former Crikey Senior Journalist

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.


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.

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30 thoughts on “Eddie and Mick feel the heat in Vancouver gay row

  1. Rupert

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Eddie + triple axle = dont’ think so.

  8. mandrellian

    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

    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

    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………….

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