New Zealand comic resigns over Hitler joke

A New Zealand actor-comedian on Sunday apologized and resigned from his radio and television jobs for making anti-Semitic and homophobic jokes at a media event in Auckland last week.

Last Wednesday, in a three-minute spot in which he was told to roast the bosses of advertising agencies at the dinner, David Fane, 43 quipped: "I want to eat you, but I won't because I don’t want to get HIV."

"Would you roast a HIV person?" he asked his audience, "You'd roast them because they're expendable," he continued, "like the Jews. Hitler had a right, you know "

Fanes comments sparked outrage among the local Jewish community. The president of the New Zealand Jewish Council, Stephen Goodman told the Herald on Sunday, "It is a very anti-Semitic statement. While we wish to preserve the rights of freedom of speech, he went over the line."

In addition, New Zealand Aids Foundation Executive president Rachael Le Mesurier said Fane's comments caused widespread outrage.

During a public apology Fane admitted to being intoxicated when he made the offensive remarks. "I wasn't in control at the time the statements were made," he told a reporter from the New Zealand Herald.

"Upon reflection, I was probably, at the time, thinking of what, in comedic circles is referred to as 'offensive humor' as opposed to anything serious," he said.

Following the apology, Fane announced his resignation from New Zealand's TV3 and the Radio Network, saying he would rather resign than face being fired. 

"I wanted to announce that I am resigning from my positions in TV and Radio effective immediately," Fane told New Zealand Press Agency.

I would rather announce this than face the embarrassment of being fired without having the chance to bow out gracefully."



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