Magic Talk radio host Sean Plunket remains off the air

Controversial talkback host Sean Plunket remains off the air for Magic Talk.

The veteran broadcaster will be missing from his show for the second day running, with Stephen McIvor filling in for him today.

The Magic Talk afternoon talk-show host has been off air this week after stand-in host John Banks last month endorsed the views of a caller who described Māori as “stone-age people with a stone-age culture”.

The racist dialogue caused an uproar. At least one major corporate suspended advertising with the station and New Zealand Cricket, that had only just signed a three-year broadcasting partnership deal, threatened to review its relationship with Magic Talk.

Banks was replaced and MediaWorks chief executive Cam Wallace announced the fill-in broadcaster would never get another job at the station while he was at the helm.

But as colleagues distanced themselves from the former Auckland mayor, Plunket posted a tweet appearing to sympathise with the outspoken broadcaster.

The radio personality was asked not to return to Magic Talk and management were reported to be in crisis talks.

Plunket hosts the Magic Afternoons with Sean Plunket weekdays from noon-4pm.

He said he could not comment when contacted by the Herald this morning.

The show was touted by the network as four hours of free speech hotline for no-holds-barred common sense talk that you control.

But it had courted controversy in the past year, earning a stiff rebuke and a fine from the Broadcasting Standards Authority over allegations of racism.

In December, the BSA rebuked MediaWorks after a May 6 Plunket interview with Te Whānau ā Apanui spokesman Louis Rapihana on Covid-19 checkpoints.

The BSA said the interview amplified negative stereotypes about Māori and had the potential to cause widespread harm.

MediaWorks was fined $3000 and ordered Plunket to apologise for his “offensive and harmful” interview with an iwi leader.

At the time, MediaWorks accepted the BSA’s decision and apologised.

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