Cory Bernardi demands someone 'lose their job' after ABC comedy sketch

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Cory Bernardi has told the ABC to fire whoever was responsible for a comedy sketch that called a candidate from his party a c--t.

Australian Conservatives senator Cory Bernardi has said heads must roll at the ABC after it aired a comedy sketch in which a candidate from his party was called a "c--t".

Last week, the satirical 'Tonightly' program featured a segment suggesting that the electorate of Batman in Melbourne be renamed "Batman-was-a-c--t", due to colonialist John Batman's treatment of Indigenous people.

It went on to show suggested by-election candidate posters, including one which used the same language for Australian Conservatives' candidate Kevin Bailey: "Kevin Bailey is a c--t".

The altered poster with the offending word obscured.
The altered poster with the offending word obscured.
Screenshot/ABC Comedy

Mr Bernardi slammed the segment on ABC Radio Adelaide on Wednesday.

"I think someone needs to lose their job over it, because it's not like these things go to air without being pre-screened," he told the station. 

"I don't think that sort of language is an appropriate thing on TV at any time."

"When you have a person of Kevin Bailey's pedigree, I mean he's a former soldier, a philanthropist, a former ambassador, I don't think any candidate should be subject to that just because they step into the ring."

It marked an escalation from Tuesday, when Mr Bernardi released a statement saying he had written to ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie to demand an apology.

"This attack goes far beyond satire, is completely unacceptable and warrants not only an apology from Mr Ballard and Mr Larsen but also from the ABC for allowing it to go to air," Mr Bernardi wrote.

Coalition frontbencher Simon Birmingham echoed Mr Bernardi's sentiment. 

"Frankly, somebody should lose their job over it," Mr Birmingham said.

This came after Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said on Tuesday that the piece "clearly crossed a line".

A spokesman for the ABC said the public broadcaster would "respond to the minister and Senator Bernardi in due course".

But 'Tonightly' host Tom Ballard seemed to be making the most of the free publicity, tweeting: "people tweeting at me angrily please remember to use the hashtag #Tonightly".

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