Triple M staff to undergo training after Eddie McGuire’s comments

by L&D23 Jun 2016
Triple M has announced that all its on air staff will undergo training from the domestic violence charity White Ribbon.

The FM radio network said that further education is necessary to ensure that all staff understand what is acceptable and what won’t be tolerated.

The announcement comes after the public outrage over Collingwood President Eddie McGuire’s on-air comments about drowning The Age sports journalist Caroline Wilson.

Last week when McGuire was talking about the the Big Freeze fundraiser at the Melbourne Cricket Ground he said :“I reckon we should start the campaign for a one-person slide next year featuring Caroline Wilson and I’ll put in 10 grand straight away – make it 20. And if she stays under – 50. What do you reckon guys?”

The Melbourne breakfast host then called Wilson a "black widow", complaining that she "just sucks you in and...bang! She gets you".

In a statement, Triple M said they apologise to its listeners, the wider community and Caroline Wilson.

“The Triple M employees involved in an on-air discussion before the Freeze MND have been counselled and each have apologised for their remarks and acknowledged the importance of stamping out language and behaviour that encourages or appears to tacitly endorse violence, most particularly against women,” said the statement.

“The broadcast staff of all Triple M stations have been reminded that language of this nature is not acceptable and there is no context that makes it acceptable. We recognise that continued and further education is necessary to ensure that all staff understand what is acceptable and what won’t be tolerated. 

“We have arranged for all our on air staff to undergo training from White Ribbon and to enable them to further promote their message, this weekend Triple M will be donating its on-ground digital signage to White Ribbon.”

Triple M added that they have carefully considered whether further disciplinary action is required.

They said that the public censure of the comments and the actions taken by the AFL community should be a sufficient incentive for a change in behaviour. 

McGuire has reportedly removed himself from Fox Footy’s TV commentary team tonight. The car manufacturer Holden has also said it is reviewing its sponsorship deal with Collingwood.

Yesterday he apologised to Wilson over the phone which she has accepted.

L&D Professional contacted Triple M and White Ribbon for comment.

If you or someone you know is impacted by domestic or family violence or sexual assault, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit In an emergency, call 000.

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  • by Jason 23/06/2016 4:56:42 PM

    I find it interesting how White ribbon will train these people, even though staff knew the comment was wrong. It starts at the top and works it way down. MMM should remove the three from the air in radio.

  • by Bernie Althofer 28/06/2016 4:43:31 PM

    It appears that when issues such as this come to light and receive public comment, that invariably focus will be drawn to a number of factors e.g. contributing environment, parties involved, understanding about above and below the line behaviours, sufficiency and relevance of organisational policies in a contemporary society, whether or not individual values and beliefs meet the current 'demands' or expectations of that contemporary society, the context in which the comments are made and the intent or otherwise of those comments.

    Leadership and culture are two key areas that can have a lasting impact how above and below behaviours are seen, accepted and integrated into those contemporary workplaces. If a workplace is representative of a contemporary society, individuals within a contemporary workplace need to be provided with opportunities to discuss in an open and transparent manner, those behaviours or conduct that may be perceived by others as offensive. Some may genuinely believe for many reasons that the comments they make in jocular terms are exactly that and not designed to harm anyone, even though the person taking a 'helicopter' view will see otherwise.

    I suspect that in an Australian culture that has changed considerably over the past fifty years, and continues to change rapidly, is that the generational and cultural differences still see a 'mish-mash' of what is fair and reasonable comment. There is little doubt that as more leaders come forth to stand a stand about unacceptable behaviours, internal training and learning and developmental programs will also change to take into consideration, not only Court, Commission and Tribunal decisions, but also public comments about the unacceptability of certain behaviours.

    It seems that for learning to occur in relation to issues such as this, that 'finger-pointing' ends up resulting in destructive feedback being provided. People are different with differing views about what is and what is not acceptable, and focusing on the behaviours and the comments may help some not understand why their comments were considered offensive, but also what the triggers were that exacerbated the situation. Once the words have been spoken, it is difficult to take them back. Sometimes in the 'heat of the moment' people do say or do some things that are out of line, every though in hindsight they say they knew it was wrong. For many people, there is no such thing as a harmless joke, and many things are often best left unsaid.

    There may always be better ways to say something but if there is a risk that what is to be said will offend someone, just don't say it.