Jack dwarf joke 'had potential to offend'
Posted by
Jack dwarf joke 'had potential to offend'

Ofcom says a comedy Jack FM sweeper that mentioned dwarves and learning difficulties had the potential to offend listeners.

The Celador-owned station on the South Coast took swift action to deal with initial contact from a listener about the material, leading the regulator not to uphold a complaint.

The production, which aired on the morning of 2 August, was one of the station’s trademark one-liner gags which are slotted in between the non-stop music during daytime hours.

“Never buy a dwarf with learning difficulties. It’s not big and it’s not clever. 106 Jack FM.”

When contacted by Ofcom, Celador said that with two jokes broadcast in each 30 minute segment it was clear to listeners that the production was intended to be humorous. The station also said they had apologised directly to the complainant and explained that the joke was “not specifically intended to target anybody with disabilities”, but recognised that it had offended people. The sweeper was removed from the playout schedule ahead of the initial contact from Ofcom, the station said.

The regulator noted that the phrase ‘it’s not big and it’s not clever’ is often used in a light-hearted context and is not in itself potentially offensive. However, Ofcom considered that listeners were likely to understand the joke as being directed at people with dwarfism and learning difficulties so it therefore “had potential to offend.”

An Ofcom spokesman said: “We acknowledge that broadcasters should always be able to use humour to entertain their listeners or viewers. Nevertheless, we did not consider there were sufficient contextual factors to justify the broadcast of this potentially offensive material on this occasion. We took account of Jack FM’s apology made directly to the person who complained to it about this material, and of its decision to withdraw this material prior to receiving Ofcom’s initial correspondence about this issue. Ofcom therefore considers the
matter resolved.”

Hear more radio industry news like this at the top of the hour on inRadio - the radio industry's very own radio station. Listen now in a new window whilst you continue reading RadioToday or press play below.

0 1 1502 10 October, 2011 Station News 11:13 am 201110 Monday, October 10th, 2011

Leave a Reply

Looking for something else?


Subscribe to our emails to stay informed about the latest radio news and products delivered straight to your inbox.

Related Posts

WorldDAB General Assembly 2016 - November 9, 2016 at 10:00 am ()
Student Radio Awards - November 10, 2016 at 6:00 pm (The O₂ 10 Entertainment Avenue, London, SE10 0DY, England)
BBC Gillard Awards - November 10, 2016 at 7:00 pm (Newcastle)
Audio Production Awards - November 23, 2016 at 6:00 pm (BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, London)
Radio TechCon 2016 - November 28, 2016 at 10:00 am (The Arts Theatre, 6-7 Great Newport St, London WC2H 7JB)
Salon de la Radio - January 29, 2017 at 10:00 am (Paris)
Salon de la Radio - January 30, 2017 at 10:00 am (Paris)
Salon de la Radio - January 31, 2017 at 10:00 am (Paris)
More events