A media insider has weighed in on The Project’s uncertain future after a guest made a lewd joke about Jesus.
The left-leaning current affairs program is under fire after gay comedian and cabaret performer Reuben Kaye joked on Tuesday’s show he admired Jesus Christ because ‘I love any man who can get nailed for three days straight and come back for more’.
Entertainment reporter Peter Ford said Channel Ten show has a ‘target on its back’.
‘I don’t think the joke was incredibly offensive in my own personal view, but it seems that other people do think it was, and now it has become a big thing on social media, mainly on Twitter,’ he told news.com.au.
‘At the moment the show really has a target on its back, people really want to go for it and jump on anything they can to somehow try and bring the show down.’
Media insider Peter Ford (pictured) has weighed in on The Project’s uncertain future after show aired comedian’s lewd joke about ‘getting nailed for three days straight like Jesus’
‘I suspect they’re spooked by all the sharks circling wanting to come after them and bring them down.’
It comes after hosts Sarah Harris and Waleed Aly were forced to issue an apology after viewers called for the Ten show to be axed for airing the lewd joke about the crucifixion of Jesus.
Aly and Harris’ on-air apology seems to have done little to stem the tide of criticism from members of the Christian and Muslim communities – who are already planning protests at Channel 10’s headquarters.
The show’s social media posts are being spammed with the hashtags #CancelTheProject and #BoycottTheProject in what is a seemingly organised effort.
Addressing the inappropriate joke on Wednesday, Aly began: ‘During an interview last night, our guest told a joke which we know was deeply and needlessly offensive to many of you.
The left-leaning current affairs show is under fire after gay comedian and cabaret performer Reuben Kaye joked on Tuesday’s show he admired Jesus Christ because ‘I love any man who can get nailed for three days straight and come back for more’
‘We want to acknowledge the particular offence that caused our Muslim viewers but especially our Christian viewers.
‘Obviously I understand just how profound that offence was.’
Harris, who had burst out laughing after the joke, then joined in.
‘Live TV is unpredictable and when this happened in the last few moments of last night’s show, it took us all by surprise, there wasn’t a lot of time to react in any sort of considered way,’ she said.
Aly insisted it took the program’s producers and panel by surprise.
‘It’s fair to say we weren’t expecting a comment like that to be made,’ he said.
Entertainment reporter Peter Ford told news.com.au on Thursday, the Channel Ten show has a ‘target on its back’
‘We wouldn’t normally broadcast a comment like that. We acknowledge the offence it caused and more than that we’re sorry.’
The joke was met with major backlash on social media.
‘What a disgusting joke about Jesus, and The Project team just giggled and did not say anything. So offended by your inaction,’ one viewer wrote.
Another said: ‘Actually a filthy joke about Jesus. I’m all for being who you wanna be, but that’s too far.’
A third said: ‘Interesting to see Waleed’s reaction to that joke! He knew it was inappropriate! Project is so desperate these days!’
But others thought the lewd gag was hilarious.
One person said: ‘I can’t believe Rueben Kaye just said that on national, prime-time television. What an icon!’
The backlash from Muslims and Christians was swift and brutal, forcing co-anchors Waleed Aly (left) and Sarah Harris (right) to issue a grovelling on-air apology on Wednesday
Other positive comments included, ‘I nearly pissed myself,’ and, ‘That was gold, the best thing on The Project in months!’
Kaye is known for his crude humour which he combines with singing and all-around showmanship in his comedy shows.
He is embarking on a national tour set to feature an array of jokes centered around touchy subjects sexuality and racism.
‘I want to poke the bear,’ he said. ‘I’m so thickly spread around this country that I might as well be systemic racism.’
The controversial quip also sparked a furious reaction online with some viewers saying the gag went ‘too far’ and others even calling for the show to be taken off the air