FOX Sports has tonight (Sunday) come under fire after airing a photoshopped image of Adolf Hitler as a fan at an NRL match on national television.
The incident happened on the Matty Johns Show on Fox League during the Manly Sea Eagles Vs Canterbury Bulldogs match.
NRL fans have slammed the program for airing the “distasteful” and “shockingly offensive” image.
“I understand people can get precious about things and very easily offended but this is not one of those times. You can’t make jokes about Hitler,” one fan wrote on Twitter.
Another wrote, “Sickening. The NRL has really worked hard to change the culture around league and it’s definitely improving so I’m disappointed that someone in 2020 would think Hitler jokes are funny and try and dump them in it.”
Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-CEO Alex Ryvchin said this sort of “stupidity, the casualisation of Hitler, Nazis, and by extension their crimes, is what leads to swastikas being graffitied throughout our cities and school kids being harassed with gas chamber jokes”.
Ryvchin called on Matty Johns and Fox to “tell their viewers it’s not on”.
Federal MP Josh Burns tweeted, “Please tell me this didn’t actually happen.”
As of late Sunday evening, the program had not apologised over the incident.
Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dvir Abramovich said using Hitler to elicit a laugh is “inexcusable, degrades the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust, and is hurtful to survivors and their children”.
“Maybe Matty Johns can explain to us what is remotely funny about a brutal dictator who caused the suffering, torture and death of so many men, women in the gas chambers?” Abramovich said.
“This was a disturbing abdication of judgment and a troubling lack of sensitivity.”
He added, “Was there not a single person on Fox Sports to say that this was a terrible idea, that there was no humour to be milked from genocide?
“I hope that the people involved in this sorry episode reflect on their actions and apologise for a sketch that simply went too far.”