2GB agrees ‘n’ word will not be used on air again after Alan Jones backlash
March 29, 2019

Breakfast radio host Alan Jones’ using the N-word on air breached “generally accepted standards of decency” — but it did not incite serious hatred or contempt of a race.

That’s the finding of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) on Mr Jones’ who faced a major backlash over the use of the word in a broadcast last August.

The controversial host used the phrase “n****r in the woodpile” in a broadcast relating to the Liberal Party leadership challenge involving Peter Dutton.

“They are mobilising to block Dutton,” Mr Jones said at the time.

“The n****r in the woodpile here, if I can use that expression, and I’m not going to yield to certain people who tell us that words in the language are forbidden, the person who’s playing hard to get, is Mathias Cormann.”

Alan Jones apologised for his comments shortly after the broadcast. Picture: AAP image, John GassSource:News Corp Australia

However, the ACMA findings state that Mr Jones’ comments were inappropriate for broadcasting in Australia.

“The phrase used by Mr Jones has not been acceptable as part of everyday speech in Australia for some time and does not belong on our airwaves,” ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said.

Shortly after, he apologised for using the phrase on Twitter and on air, saying he had made “mistakes”.

“I used an old and offensive figure of speech that I regret saying,” Mr Jones said. “People should be honest and forthright in their actions and that is not happening in the Liberal Party right now.”

The phrase Mr Jones used originated in America’s Deep South in the mid-19th Century and was used to describe slaves who had fled their captors.

Mr Jones’ comments were in relation to the Liberal leadership challenge. Picture: AAP Image/Jono SearleSource:AAP

Escapees were said to have hidden in piles of firewood while travelling north to Canada. In a modern context, it is almost universally considered racist and hurtful.

Users on Twitter described Mr Jones’ remarks as “disgusting” and “disgraceful”, saying he should be sacked or seriously sanctioned.

As a result of the ACMA findings, Macquarie Media, owner of 2GB, has agreed the phrase will not be used on air again.

The station issued an apology hours after the show and Mr Jones apologised for he offensive phrase and admitted it was not appropriate for the broadcast.