Broadcaster Michael Smith has been dumped from a guest slot on radio station 2GB after he referred to the prophet Muhammad as a paedophile.
Smith had been booked to present Chris Smith’s afternoon program for three weeks starting Monday.
However, he has revealed on his website that 2GB’s program director, David Kidd, phoned him on Friday evening and allegedly said: ‘‘We won’t be needing you, you can’t call a Deity a paedophile.’’
Mr Kidd declined to comment when approached by Fairfax Media on Saturday.
Smith’s controversial outburst came during an on-air exchange with Ben Fordham on Thursday. ‘‘The prophet Muhammad was a paedophile, a pederast, a sexual offender, a man who promoted the idea that it was OK to marry a six-year-old and consummate the marriage when the little girl was nine. And that’s written into their books, it’s part of the philosophy … the Koran. It’s factually correct,’’ he said.
Smith remarked that he was legally permitted to make the comments having previously been cleared by an Australian Communications and Media Authority investigation, following an almost identical rant when he was the 2UE afternoon host in 2011.
But his latest blast triggered a barrage of angry calls from listeners, and led to scathing criticism from veteran presenter Ray Hadley at the start of his program on Friday morning.
‘‘I value the worth of this station in the community … and sometimes I’ve been guilty of tarnishing its reputation … for that I’ve apologised,’’ he said. ‘‘… I want to go on record today and completely distance myself from Mr Smith’s comments as well. Yesterday I was insulted by what was said … and I’ve got to speak out against it.’’
Smith, however, is refusing to apologise for the comments.
He said on his website on Saturday: ‘‘I’ve thought about what I said in answer to Ben’s question. I think it’s wrong for a man in his 50s to have sex with a nine-year-old child. It is wrong, it’s a crime and it should be called out for what it is’’.
Smith told Fairfax he stands by his on-air words and the comments that followed on his website. He said he was unsure whether he had also now lost his guest slot on Fordham’s show in the future.
‘‘The short answer is I don’t know … but regardless, Ben’s a top bloke and we’ll remain the best of friends no matter what,’’ he said.
Fordham could not be reached for comment.