Red Symons has apologised for insensitive comments he made in a controversial interview during which he asked fellow ABC journalist Beverly Wang: "what's the deal with Asians?"
The broadcaster, host of the breakfast show on ABC Radio Melbourne, offered his "sincerest apologies" on Monday morning. His interview on the ABC podcast 'It's Not A Race', was quickly condemned online and subsequently removed by the broadcaster.
"I came across as racist and I was wrong in the way I conducted the interview," Symons said.
"This is not who I am, but I acknowledge on this occasion I caused offence and hurt, not only to Beverley but also to our listeners," he said.
"I offer my sincerest apologies. We need to talk about these issues, but be careful how we consider them."
The interview with Wang, host of 'It's Not A Race', quickly took a turn when Symons expressed disappointment as he, too, wanted to host a show on a similar topic.
He said he would instead name it "what's the deal with Asians?"
"OK, let's tackle that. What is the deal with Asians, Red?" Wang replied.
"No, I ask the questions," Symons said. "First question is, are they all the same?"
He followed by asking if Wang thinks she is "yellow" and asking whether she would wear 'yellow' or 'white face'.
The ABC issued a statement apologising for the contents of the interview.
"ABC Radio has removed the latest episode of RN's It's Not A Race podcast and an earlier ABC Radio Melbourne segment," the statement read.
"A review of the editorial processes regarding this content and its use is in progress. ABC Radio apologises for the content going to air."
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