The anchor for Sky News Australia's program "Outsiders," Ross Cameron, was fired by the channel's chief executive soon after he called Chinese people "slanty-eyed, yellow-skinned" live on air.
"If you go to the Disneyland in Shanghai, on any typical morning of the week, you'll see 20,000 black-haired, slanty-eyed, yellow-skinned Chinese desperate to get into Disneyland," he said.
The show's host used the phrase to prove that Chinese were also interested in Western culture, but the channel's management was dissatisfied with his approach. In an official statement, Sky News' chief executive called Cameron's language "totally unacceptable in modern Australian society" and said that all recordings of the show had been removed from the channel's platforms.
Social media users were divided in their attitude towards Cameron's resignation. Many netizens described the decision as part of an ongoing trend of limiting freedom of speech.
Ross Cameron was sacked from sky news bec of his comments about Chinese. For me it’s ridiculous since he’s just describing the way we look as asians. It’s so scary now to even say something as an opinion even if it’s true, without being judged as racist. Speech freedom???— mariciel (@fmcoreega) November 2, 2018
Sky News sacks Ross Cameron after racist spray https://t.co/yj7lcIZ2hZ via @ABCNews Really…The world is going crazy. You cant say anything that offends people, everyone can be offended, its easy to say I was offended. That is how you kill freedom of expression.— Sentinel (@martyj99) November 2, 2018
Many twitterians slammed Sky News for sacking their favorite TV host over a phrase that they considered to be harmless and not racist.
What a bunch of whimps!— berylbird (@muffin2356) November 2, 2018
What has happened to freedom of speech in this country? Ross Cameron is the most intelligent and sane individual on tv @SkyNewsAust you have lost my support https://t.co/ahbZZcYpb3
Ross Cameron with his brilliant mind and entertaining personality was one of the star personalities on Sky! To be sacked over something so trivial and contrived by what he and Rowan are so against is an outrage! Oh and he is certainly not racist! Disgraceful!— Tony Blythe (@TonyBlythe8) November 3, 2018
Some even suggested cancelling their subscriptions to the channel.
I'd be prepared to cancel my @Foxtel subscription and put the money towards whatever platform @RossCameron4 decides to broadcast from following the debacle at @SkyNewsAust. Tell us where to send the cheque Ross! #outsiders #SaveRoss— Paul Guidera (@mrguidera) November 3, 2018
Others blasted Sky News for listening to "trolls" who have advocated for firing several of the channel's hosts.
I hope you're paying attention @SkyNewsAust — 'one down, five to go' is being chanted by the trolls who brought down Ross Cameron. They will never be satisfied. They will never stop. All you did was give them power over you.— Alexandra Marshall (@ellymelly) November 2, 2018
However, several twitterians, with former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd among them, supported the channel's decision.
How surprising that Murdoch would offer this guy a platform in the first place, knowing full-well what his views of the world happen to be. The whole Sky formula is designed to promote extreme right wing views. They knew exactly what they were doing. KRudd https://t.co/oW54bBxhQJ— Kevin Rudd (@MrKRudd) November 2, 2018