Mon, 10 Dec, 2018Danielle McCarthy

Q&A ends with controversial skit: “Worst thing I’ve seen on TV”

Q&A ends with controversial skit: “Worst thing I’ve seen on TV”

For many Aussies, the last Q&A for the year has been met with relief after a controversial skit on last night’s program caused a stir.

After discussing the Liberal party’s ‘Existential crisis’, medical care for those in detention and free speech, the program concluded the year with a controversial skit.

The skit was a political rendition of the Book Of Mormon’s famous opening tune Hello!

Rather than featuring the door-knocking Mormons from the musical, four men dressed as finance minister Mathias Cormann performed a version of the song with mobile phones to their ears.

Prior to the performance, Q&A host Tony Jones said: “It's been an extraordinary but ugly year in politics.

"Perhaps because the deal-making behind the political sausage machine has been so much more exposed than ever before."

The performance made reference to Cormann’s role in the Liberal leadership spill.

The choice of song plays on the fact that Cormann also rhymes with Mormon.

However, some viewers thought the performance missed the mark.

One viewer wrote: “So this skit is what our taxpayer dollars are funding? Oh dear.”

Another commented: “Is anyone else wondering why we stopped seeing intelligent debate for that weirdass satire?”

One Aussie added: “Disgusting ending to QAndA. Appalling. And I’m a Labor voter. Just the worst thing I’ve seen on television since ScumMo brought coal into Parliament.”

Some viewers also thought it was distasteful to mock his accent.

One viewer asked: “How was this an appropriate end to the year? Four people making fun of one person’s accent.”

The show cut short a heated debate about freedom of speech in order to air the skit.

Editor of online magazine Spiked, Brendan O’Neill, was saying that “free speech is absolute”.

However, lawyer and community advocate Nyadol Nyon disagreed with O’Neill.

"I don't believe there is anything as absolute free speech," she said.

"I think that all rights that we have exist in a particular historical context but also in contrast with other rights and responsibilities."

Labor MP Tanya Plibersek said there was a clear difference between free speech and hate speech.

“Just because you have a right to free speech doesn’t mean you should abandon courtesy," she said.

"There is no reason to abandon courtesy and for the rest of my 30 seconds I’d like to give it to the person who has experienced probably more racism than anyone else on the panel and let you have your say. Finish what you wanted to say.”

Plibersek’s gesture was met with applause in the crowd, but viewers criticised the show for cutting short the debate in order to facilitate the Cormann skit.

What were your thoughts on the controversial skit? Let us know in the comments below.