The host of an Australian TV show that came under fire earlier this year for allowing a guest to make an off-colour joke about Jesus has criticised the producers’ decision to air it.
Sarah Harris, who co-hosts the current affairs programme The Project, told The Matty Johns Podcast that the joke should never have occurred.
“During the scandal that we had on The Project, it was sad and it was scary. The joke should have never gone to air and it kind of took us all by surprise,” she said.
The joke by comedian Reuben Kaye sparked criticism from the Christian community. The Archbishop of Sydney described the incident as “extremely upsetting” and invited the TV producers and hosts to church to "fully experience the reverence Christians have for Jesus Christ".
Harris, who could be seen laughing at the joke, further stated that while she didn’t agree with the comments made by Kaye, she believes questions should be asked about the limits being put to comedy.
“I'm not defending having the joke on the show. It was absolutely the wrong context and wrong forum for that,' Harris said.
“But when we start talking about what you can and can't joke about, are we going to move onto blasphemy laws next? It's concerning for comedy as well.
“If we are going to say you can't joke about that - it's completely off limits - it's a really bizarre kind of time we find ourselves in.”
Both the TV producers and the hosts apologised to viewers admitting the joke was “profoundly offensive” to Christian viewers.
According to the Daily Mail, the Australian media watchdog received 203 inquiries about the project’s episode featuring the joke.