A joke about Port Augusta that has outraged the South Australian regional city’s mayor was meant in fun, Network Ten says.
Joy Baluch has called for an apology after her town was called ‘Port Au-Gutta’ by actor Hugh Sheridan on the television program The Project on Monday.
Mrs Baluch has told ABC news online that it was offensive to call Port Augusta by the old nickname that mocked the speech of Aboriginal people.
‘It casts aspersions upon all of our community, in particular the Aboriginal community,’ she said.
Sheridan had been promoting a program partially filmed in the region when he said he used to ‘sing New York, New York on the way to Port Au-Gutta’ when he was young.
However a Network Ten spokesperson said it was ridiculous to think Sheridan was trying to be insulting.
‘Anyone who saw Hugh Sheridan on Ten’s The Project on Monday night would be well aware that what he said was in fun,’ the spokesperson said.
‘Hugh was fondly recalling a family holiday.’
‘Mrs Baluch’s claim that Hugh was casting aspersions upon the Port Augusta community, or any members of it, is completely ridiculous.’
Comment was sought from Mrs Baluch.