SPH Radio fined $7,000 for racially insensitive remarks made on show

Tuesday, Mar 21, 2017

Singapore Press Holdings Radio (SPH Radio) has been fined $7,000 after deejays on one of its radio stations made racially insensitive remarks on air. 

In a statement on Tuesday (Mar 21), the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said that the insensitive remarks were made on Jan 11, 2017, when deejays on Kiss92 FM were discussing a study on the sleep patterns of Singaporeans on a radio programme.

"While trying to interpret the findings of the study, the deejays made remarks which stereotyped certain races and offended some listeners," IMDA said.

It found that the programme in question had breached the free-to-air radio programme code, which SPH Radio is expected to comply with as a free-to-air broadcaster.

IMDA explained that under the code, broadcasters have an obligation "to avoid racial and religious stereotyping and ensure that content which denigrates or is likely to offend the sensitivities of any racial and religious group in Singapore is not aired".

"Given the strong influence radio exerts on the community and its accessibility to all Singaporeans, IMDA would like to remind broadcasters of their obligations under the free-to-air radio programme code," the authority added.

Following the incident, deejay Ms Maddy Barber posted an apology on Kiss 92's Facebook page.

"On behalf of the team I'd like to apologise for this. It was not our intention to hurt or belittle anyone or any race. Most of us on the show, including me, come from a multi racial family, and a tolerant society has always been what we stand for on the show," she wrote.

She added: "I can understand how, when parts of what was said are taken out of the full context of the repartee among us deejays, they can be misconstrued to mean something we never intended."