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Tom Ballard comedy set axed by ABC over Liberal Party voter jokes

Tom Ballard’s set was cancelled by ABC (Picture: Don Arnold/Getty Images)

An Australian comedian’s set has been axed from broadcast after he said he wished voters for the country’s major centre-right party are ‘cold-blooded lizards’ and ‘fascist soulless pig dogs’. 

Tom Ballard performed at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF), and the opening night of the gala was set to be aired on ABC tonight.

However, Ballard’s performance will no longer be shown following jokes he made about the Liberal Party, the dominant party in the current coalition government.

According to The Age, the 31-year-old comic said: ‘I’m not saying Liberal voters are bad people. I’m saying they’re not people. They’re cold-blooded lizards ruining the country who should go back to the hellmouth from where they came.’

Referencing Covid-19, Ballard said the virus ‘killed a lot of people in nursing homes – but I checked and they were all Liberal voters’.

The star concluded his set by saying: ‘I hope you die, I hope you choke on your own franking credits, you evil greedy fascist soulless pig dogs.’

ABC later confirmed that Ballard’s set would not be aired due to his jokes about Liberal voters. 

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Scott Morrison is the leader of the Liberal Party (Picture: Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images)

A statement read: ‘The ABC checks all content prior to broadcast to ensure it meets editorial standards. In this case, it was determined that the risk of causing offence to viewers was not editorially justified.’

The Age noted that one of MICF’s board members, John Ridley, is the former Victorian director of the Liberal Party and adviser to former Liberal Party leader Andrew Peacock.

Earlier in the week, Ballard had mentioned his jokes about Liberal voters while chatting about his show We Are All In This on The Project. 

He said: ‘I had a Liberal voter in the front row the other night. A lovely man by the name of Dennis. 

‘He was a very good sport but he hated every minute of it. Everyone is welcome to come to my show, but I will yell at you about why you’re wrong.’

Ballard often makes jokes about Liberal Party voters (Picture: Roberto Ricciuti/Getty Images)

The Aussie, who identifies as left-leaning, previously had his show Tonightly cancelled by ABC after it featured a skit which called Australian Conservatives candidate Kevin Bailey a ‘c***’.

ABC initially said that the sketch met due processes, saying: ‘The material was reviewed by the program teams prior to broadcast and posting, ensuring both complied with the ABC’s editorial standards on harm and offences and also the appropriate classification standards.

‘In addition to these responses, director of entertainment, David Anderson, has contacted Mr Kevin Bailey, explained the context and apologised for any personal offence caused by the sketch. Any formal complaints about breaches of editorial policy or classification standards will be investigated through the normal processes.’

However, weeks later, ABC axed Tonightly after a year, and in its final episode, Ballard said: ‘Keep taking risks. It’s not happening anywhere else, please keep making shows like this for young people.’

The Liberal-National Coalition has been in place since the 2013 election, with Scott Morrison acting as Prime Minister since 2018. 


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