The Chaser’s War on Sick Kids
Much has been made in the last couple of days of The Chaser’s recent satire on the Make A Wish Foundation. It’s not often the Prime Minister of Australia calls a press conference to condemn the actions of an ABC comedy show. The Chaser team have never been shy when it comes to controversy, but have they gone too far this time?
I’m not a regular viewer of The Chaser. So while I didn’t see the sketch when it aired, I’ve seen it over and over again as shows like A Current Affair play the clip. Over and over and over. There have been calls to ban the show. I’m sure some would love to see The Chaser team in jail for having the audacity to make fun of pre teen cancer patients.
And here’s where the cynic in me comes out. Not that it takes a lot of effort for him to pop up and have a say. How much of this media backlash comes from rival networks who want to get there hands on The Chaser and welcome them into the fold? I recall Today Tonight a few years ago spending some significant air time attacking The Chaser, only for it to be later revealed that they were attempting to steal the show, ala Kath and Kim.
There have been public calls for the team to apologise for their actions. But why should they? It’s not like one of their many stunts that actually endangered the security of others. And all of this attention is surely going to spike their ratings. Not that we’ll find out for a few weeks as the ABC has decided to pull the show for a two weeks until the heat dies down.
It’s been argued that because this is satire, it’s exploring people’s reaction to these organisations and not the kids themselves. But I’m not too sure. Mark Fennell pointed out on his blog that this isn’t the first time a comedy show has tackled this issue. Have a look at the various clips. I think there is a massive difference in the approaches. When you view them against each other, I think The Chaser team really did shoot straight past satirising the organisation and the way people support them and instead blindsided the kids. What do you think?