Fane suspended for offensive rant

By Vaimoana Tapaleao, NZPA, NZ Herald staff

David Fane was visibly upset at his home last night. Photo / Paul Estcourt
David Fane was visibly upset at his home last night. Photo / Paul Estcourt

Radio star David Fane has been suspended for a week for commenting in a speech that "Jews were expendable", "Hitler had a right" and HIV sufferers deserved to be "roasted".

Fane, co-creator of the hit TV3 show bro'Town, met with his bosses at the Radio Network this afternoon after an expletive-laden rant at a Radio Roast event last week.

The Radio Network chief executive John McElhinney said after the meeting that the New Zealand Jewish Council and the New Zealand Aids Foundation would receive written apologies from both Fane and the company.

Fane would be suspended for the remainder of this week and then take previously scheduled leave next week, returning on-air on July 12, Mr McElhinney said.

"While his comments were made in the context of a 'roast', where remarks are often provocative, what he said in this case was definitely inappropriate and we in no way condone the comments," Mr McElhinney said.

"There are lessons to be learned from this."

Fane made his comments at the inaugural Radio Roast media event at the Northern Club in Auckland. The audience included Mike Hosking, Kate Hawkesby and Jason Gunn.

Last night, a visibly upset Fane did not want to speak to the Herald at his Auckland home. However, he apologised on 3 News, labelling his remarks "dumb".

"I really am so very sorry for any offence I've caused you," he said. "They were dumb words - said by a dumb man ... [It was a] stupid, stupid mistake."

Fane, who is also known for his roles on Outrageous Fortune, Sione's Wedding and TV3's Radiradirah, is a popular radio host on the hip-hop and R'n'B station Flava.

New Zealand Jewish Council president Stephen Goodman said Fane's apology supported his contention that it was simply a stupid act with no anti-semitic intent.

"It was just somebody getting carried away with the situation and saying silly things."

A colleague of Fane, who did not want to be named, said his remarks were offensive but he was "an all-round nice guy who would not have meant it".

Yesterday afternoon, a person pretending to be the comedian released a statement saying he had quit all his roles on TV and radio. It was later established that this was not so.

TV3 spokeswoman Nicole Wood said Fane was not employed by the network. He was an independent actor.

Filming of Outrageous Fortune and Radiradirah had finished and there were no plans to drop any episodes as a result of what had happened.

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a4 at 29 Jul 2014 12:34:43 Processing Time: 298ms