Kyle Sandilands Faces Backlash After Homophobic Monkeypox, ‘Gay Disease’ Jibes

Kyle Sandilands Faces Backlash After Homophobic Monkeypox, ‘Gay Disease’ Jibes
Image: Kyle Sandilands

Kyle Sandilands has fallen under public criticism after his comments about Monkeypox which aired on popular radio show, The Kyle and Jackie O on Tuesday, where he described it as the “big gay disease floating around.”

After Sandilands request for co-host Jackie O to be vaccinated against whooping cough before meeting his newborn son, Otto, producer Ross asked whether he needed to also be vaccinated against Monkeypox. 

“What about me, do I need the Monkeypox vaccine?” Ross asked. Sandilands responded that the couple were not “letting any gays near him.”

The Tuesday morning radio show was still available to download on Friday, where listeners heard him making derogatory comments to the LGBTQI+ community where he described lesbians as “hairy armed old lesos” and joked about catching thrush from “dirty girls”. 

The radio host criticised Ross when he said he wasn’t planning on getting the vaccine as he was in a committed relationship, before asking “what’s wrong with you gays?”, as well as joking that Ross’ partner may be unfaithful. 

Controversy follows Sandilands

The controversial host has fallen under criticism several times over his radio career, including when he declared that Australian actress Magda Szubanksi “could be skinny” if she were in a “concentration camp” and for questioning a 14-year-old rape victim about her sexual history during an on-air live detetctor test back in 2009. 

The host called Ross’ partner, Damien and questioned his stance on the viral disease. “The Monkeypox. The big gay disease floating around, it’s only the gays getting it. Are you worried about getting it?” Sandilalds asked. 

When Damien said he wasn’t worried, Sandilands poked him further, asking whether he was aware of the “big dirty scabs that everyone gets?”

Sandilands phoned the show’s medical expert Dr Sam Hay (Dr KIIS) for advice on monkeypox, asking whether it was true that when people “eat bananas, your chance of getting monkeypox skyrockets?

Sandilands voiced his concern about contracting the disease from gay colleagues, stating that he was “putting my life in the gays’ hands as well”. He asked whether it was possible to get the virus by touching someone who was gay before adding that if he was a medical professional, he would attach a sign to his door stating  “no monkeypox patients admitted” to prevent “dirty monkeypox victims”.

He joked to Dr KIIS to do the same, asserting “I think you can do whatever you want as a doctor,’ Sandilands said.

‘You don’t have to have every Tom, Dick, and bloody dirty monkeypox victim coming in there, do ya?

The Australian Radio Network (ARN) has come to Sandilands defence for his comments, stating “’Kyle is renowned for his colourful vernacular.” 

‘We appreciate that those unaccustomed to his expressions may consider the content opinionated, and the range of topics discussed on the show are not to everyone’s taste.’

Outrage on social media

Sandilands received backlash on social media, with some condemning him for his words of “ignorance” that was an open attack on the LGBTQI+ community. 

Twitter user @Bentleyman00 posted, “The fact Kyle Sandilands has kept his job has been emblematic for years that money is more important than integrity in radio. His monkeypox comments show his absolute ignorance and incorrect belief that it’s not already circulating among non-gay men. #fool

ReachOut CEO Ashley de Silva spoke to Sky News, condemning “all hate speech against LGBTQI+ people including comments by Kyle Sandilands.”

“We know that Monkeypox is of growing concern across the whole community. Incorrectly labelling a disease in this way only increases stigma and can prevent people from seeking treatment.

There have been 44 cases of monkeypox identified in NSW since 20 May 2022.

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