Australian show The Project's uncertain future after show aired lewd joke about Jesus


The Project’s uncertain future after a guest made a lewd joke about Jesus.

The left-leaning current affairs program is under fire after gay comedian and cabaret performer Reuben Kaye joked on Tuesday’s show he admired Jesus Christ because ‘I love any man who can get nailed for three days straight and come back for more’.

It comes after hosts Sarah Harris and Waleed Aly were forced to issue an apology after viewers called for the Ten show to be axed for airing the lewd joke about the crucifixion of Jesus.

Aly and Harris’ on-air apology seems to have done little to stem the tide of criticism from members of the Christian and Muslim communities – who are already planning protests at Channel 10’s headquarters.

The show’s social media posts are being spammed with the hashtags #CancelTheProject and #BoycottTheProject in what is a seemingly organised effort.

Addressing the inappropriate joke on Wednesday, Aly began: ‘During an interview last night, our guest told a joke which we know was deeply and needlessly offensive to many of you.

‘We want to acknowledge the particular offence that caused our Muslim viewers but especially our Christian viewers.

‘Obviously I understand just how profound that offence was.’

Harris, who had burst out laughing after the joke, then joined in.

‘Live TV is unpredictable and when this happened in the last few moments of last night’s show, it took us all by surprise, there wasn’t a lot of time to react in any sort of considered way,’ she said.

Aly insisted it took the program’s producers and panel by surprise.

‘It’s fair to say we weren’t expecting a comment like that to be made,’ he said.

Entertainment reporter Peter Ford told on Thursday, the Channel Ten show has a 'target on its back'
‘We wouldn’t normally broadcast a comment like that. We acknowledge the offence it caused and more than that we’re sorry.’

The joke was met with major backlash on social media.

‘What a disgusting joke about Jesus, and The Project team just giggled and did not say anything. So offended by your inaction,’ one viewer wrote.

Another said: ‘Actually a filthy joke about Jesus. I’m all for being who you wanna be, but that’s too far.’

A third said: ‘Interesting to see Waleed’s reaction to that joke! He knew it was inappropriate! Project is so desperate these days!’

But others thought the lewd gag was hilarious.

In response to the outrage, the media regulator revealed it will not yet consider the complaints.

“The ACMA has received 203 inquiries about an episode of The Project broadcast on Tuesday 28 February 2023 featuring the comedian Reuben Kaye,” the ACMA said in a statement.

“Under the broadcasting co-regulatory system, complainants are directed to the broadcaster in the first instance.

“If a complainant does not receive a response from the broadcaster within 60 days, or is not satisfied with the response they do receive, they may refer their complaint to the ACMA for consideration.”