We're very quick as a nation nowadays to become outraged by the latest insensitive or deliberately provocative comments from high-profile celebrities, gathering in our thousands on Twitter or newspaper websites' comments sections to register our displeasure and to demand a public apology and/or the culprit's immediate resignation or sacking. I can't usually get too worked up about this sort of thing as, well, I have a pretty inappropriate (or just plain puerile) sense of humour myself. Life's too short, and all that.
But this week there has been one instance of such ill-judged behaviour that has genuinely annoyed and, dare I say it, outraged me. It came courtesy of Channel 5 presenter Matthew Wright on his daytime magazine programme The Wright Stuff. During a review of the morning's newspapers, one of his guests pointed out an article about the murder last week of 16-year Liam Aitchison on the Isle of Lewis, the first such case in the area for some 40 years. Wright's reaction was to yell "There's been a mur-der!" in an ersatz Taggart-style comedy Scottish accent, before repeating himself and laughing heartily at the brilliance of his wit.
Now, quite understandably on this occasion, this provoked an outraged response from viewers of the programme - including Liam Aitchison's distraught father - and hundreds of complaints to the regulator; and this in turn led to Wright issuing a grudging, cursory, passive-aggressive half-apology on the following morning's programme. But he couldn't resist getting an Alan Partridge-esque hubristic dig in immediately afterwards, telling those who'd organised campaigns to report him to Ofcom to "Grow up, folks". Oh, the irony.
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