Martin Devlin: I hope Sky TV haven't sacked Joe Wheeler for good

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 8 Apr 2021, 4:02PM

Martin Devlin: I hope Sky TV haven't sacked Joe Wheeler for good

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 8 Apr 2021, 4:02PM

I hope Sky TV haven't sacked Joe Wheeler but I fear they have. 

Has he been temporarily stood down or permanently disappeared?  The waters remain murky but knowing the way Sky work I dare say he's gone for good. 

What Wheeler did in mimicking Himeno's accent was stupid and quite clearly unacceptable for anyone who is publicly  broadcasting.

But that's all it was. Without malicious intent to label him racist is simply wrong. The immediate reaction from the outraged-on-behalf-of-brigade was both predictable and, as always, equally hysterical.

But I also do agree that this time the angry mob have a valid point. Mocking someone for the way they speak is as lame as singling them out because their body shape is different, hair style unusual or clothing choice something we're unfamiliar with.

But does it deserve being sacked as a result? In my mind, no. The point has been made, well made.

Wheeler was dumb. No argument there at all. But is there not a more important  lesson to learn from all this? Discuss, debate, finger point, rant and rave all we can then ultimately emerge out the other side a bit better educated about everything?

Or is the ultimate aim to crucify every person every time anyone does or says anything momentarily ill-thought? Because that is what Wheeler did.

Spur of the moment, thought it was funny and clearly thought wrong. Very wrong.

Joe Wheeler made a mistake. The man is not a racist he made a mistake. He apologised, he will learn from it and hopefully it's not enough to kamikaze his TV career.