Molan hits out over ‘racist’ comments
Channel 9 host Erin Molan has spoken for the first time after being criticised for mocking Pacific Islander player names and being branded "racist".
The TV personality has taken aim at the Daily Mail over the reporting of comments she made on 2GB radio last week.
She released a scathing public statement against the "misleading" nature of the reporting, stating that it contained a "number of untruths".
Last week, during an on-air conversation about player names with The Continuous Call co-hosts Darryl Brohman and Mark Levy, Molan said "hooka looka mooka hooka fooka".
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Molan's comments quickly drew widespread backlash among the NRL community with past and present players lashing her for appearing to mock Pacific Islander names.
Molan was then quoted by the Daily Mail that rather than mocking the names she was referring to an in-joke between the commentary team.
The publication reported that both Molan and Nine Entertainment, owner of 2GB, insisted she was alluding to a story Brohman told nearly two months ago in early April.
"Erin was jokingly mocking the difficulty Chris and his father had, going back and forth figuring out how to pronounce a complex name," the Daily Mail quoted Nine.
Brohman's story centred on a conversation between father and son commentators, Ray and Chris Warren, who disagreed over the pronunciation of Manly forward Haumole Olakau'atu.
But in her lengthy statement she has insisted that it was not an "inside joke" and attacked the "misleading" nature of the reporting.
"I would like to publicly address the misleading and inaccurate pieces by The Daily Mail regarding the audio clip that went to air during the Continuous Call on 2GB," Molan tweeted.
"These articles contain a number of untruths:
"1) It was not an 'inside joke'. The words 'in-joke' or 'inside joke' have been directly attributed to me by the Daily Mail in headlines and the body of articles multiple times. It has also been repeated as fact in numerous other publications and in personal and public social media posts. The quote is completely made up.
"2) There was no discussion or segment last Saturday regarding how to pronounce Polynesian names - nor was I attempting to pronounce or 'mock' a Polynesian player's name. My remarks were an attempt to reference a story that's been told multiple times on-air. They were clumsy and inappropriate. I apologised on-air last Friday and that apology stands.
"3) There was no 'refusal to apologise'. The same day the first Daily Mail article was published I went on 2GB Radio - where the original remarks were broadcast - and apologised.
"The reporting of this has been some of the most inaccurate, irresponsible and malicious I have seen. I have engaged a specialist defamation law firm.
"I have the utmost admiration and respect for the Polynesian community - especially those who play our game."
The backlash to Molan's comments continued over the weekend with the remarks branded "a disgusting display of racism" by NITV journalist Madeline Hayman-Reber.
Originally published as Molan hits out over 'racist' comments