Ptchoo! Ptchoo ptchoo!
Axed Good Game host sticks to his guns
ABC News Online
November 2, 2009
The fired host of Good Game says he wants the war of words with the ABC to end, but he is sticking by his claims that he was kicked off the show because of his gender.
The show’s founding host, Jeremy Ray, was fired earlier this month, with viewers informed via a statement on the TV show’s online message board last week.
Ray, also known as the Junglist, says that statement failed to mention the true reason he was let go.
He says he was told in a meeting almost three weeks ago that he was going to be replaced by a woman because the ABC wanted the video gaming show to garner “mass appeal”.
Ray, who was born in Australia but lived in the United States for most of his childhood, says there was “a lot of internal politicking” going on behind the scenes, but that was not the reason for his dismissal.
“In the meeting, the only reason they gave was that they wanted a female presenter,” he told ABC News Online.
“There were comments made in that meeting that it would be great if the audience assumed, seeing as there is only four or five weeks left in the season, that I was sick or on holiday and that this whole thing was my idea.
“It was even suggested [at a different time], that I say on air that I’m going back to the States, which I found a little offensive because I’m an Australian citizen.
“Those sorts of comments made me worried that I was going to be misrepresented.”
Ray’s departure caused backlash from fans on Twitter. A website and Facebook groups also quickly popped up in support of him.
One of those Facebook groups, Save Junglist! – Support the Former Good Game Host Through His Mistreatment by the ABC, already has more than 5,000 members.
“The poor handing of the situation made the backlash even bigger than I thought it would be,” Ray said…
See also : Good Game: ABC TV Show and online communities, Laurel Papworth, October 30, 2009, for an analysis from a ‘social media’ critic (“Laurel is one of Australia’s top social media strategist[s], a renowned keynote speaker and respected thought leader on the business of being social”).