Radio and TV presenter Erin Molan is accused in court documents of mocking ethnic accents and using ‘offensive stereotypes’ in dozens of ‘objectively racist’ broadcasts
- Erin Molan was accused of mocking Pacific Islander names on live radio
- Molan is suing Daily Mail Australia over its coverage of these and other remarks
- Claims she was portrayed as a racist and an ‘arrogant woman of white privilege’
- Defence argues this is true and Molan’s conduct was ‘objectively racist’
Erin Molan allegedly engaged in racist conduct including mocking ethnic names and putting on fake accents more than 20 times on radio.
The TV and radio host used ‘offensive stereotypes’ of Chinese, Japanese, Maori, and Indonesian people and made crude jokes and references, a court document alleges.
They include saying ‘I wuv you wery long tiyme’ in a ‘Chinese’ accent and ‘you like raw feesh?’ in a ‘Japanese’ accent before jokingly asking ‘was that racist?’
Molan, 38, also laughed along as fellow hosts of 2GB’s weekly rugby league show The Continuous Call made similar remarks, the document claims.
Her comments are detailed in Daily Mail Australia’s 61-page defence to a defamation lawsuit Molan filed over a series of three articles on June 4 and 5.
Erin Molan (pictured left) appeared to mock the names of Pacific Islander NRL players live on 2GB radio’s The Continuous Call
The lawsuit alleges the publication defamed her in the articles by accusing her among other things of being a racist, and being so callous that having deliberately mocked the names of Pacific Islanders on air, she then refused to apologise.
The first article accused her of mocking Islander names by uttering ‘hooka looka mooka hooka fooka’ in a broadcast of the same show on May 30.
NRL players with a Polynesian heritage represent a significant proportion of athletes in the league, the defence stated.
Molan alleges Daily Mail Australia portrayed her as ‘a racist’ and an ‘arrogant woman of white privilege’ who refused to apologise for deliberately mocking Pacific Islander names.
The publication in its defence argued these imputations were substantially true, and that her conduct on air was ‘objectively racist’.
The document filed with the Federal Court on Monday cited more than 20 instances of Molan engaging in racist behaviour on the show in 2017 to 2020.
One of them was an April 5 broadcast that both Nine Entertainment, owner of 2GB, and Molan herself said she was referencing with her ‘hooka look’ jibe.
Molan is suing Daily Mail Australia over a series of articles on June 4 to 5 that accused her of mocking Islander names by uttering ‘hooka looka mooka hooka fooka’ on radio
Co-host Darryl Brohman told a story about a debate between father and son commentators, Ray and Chris Warren, over how to pronounce the name of reserve Manly forward of Tongan decent, Haumole Olakau’atu.
‘His name had about 30 letters in it and I had trouble pronouncing it so I asked Chris ‘how do you pronounce this bloke’s name?’ Brohman said.
‘He said ‘well dad and I have been discussing this today… and dad thought his name was Chuka-lala-lulu.
‘And I said, ‘well, dad, I think it’s Chuka-lala-lulu-lulu, and he says, Chris, that’s incorrect – it’s Chukaka-lulalulalo’.
The story continued along those with the names getting increasingly complicated until Brohman suggested ‘let’s just call him Sevi’.
This story was repeated on two other occasions in fashion the defence argued was ‘objectively racist’ for its mocking of Olakau’atu’s name.
In one of those two broadcasts, on April 12, Molan chimed in with: ‘What was the name again? Pooka-pocka-pooka-pa?’
The defence claims Molan was also involved in mocking Maori names, such as in a long discussion of pronunciations on September 8, 2018.
‘So what about his surname, what do you call him, Kata or Katar?’ Broham asked the panel, to which Molan joked: ‘Qatar is a city in the middle east’.
‘It’s Kwi-tar,’ Ray Hadley replied, before Molan replied ‘same difference’.
Molan as a Channel 9 commentator at an NRL game earlier this year
Earlier on August 18, 2018, Molan laughed along as Broham compared Maori player Corey Harawira-Naera’s name to slurring at the end of a night out.
Asian ethnicities were also frequently targeted for ridicule on the show, according to the examples cited in the legal defence.
On March 18, 2017, the defence claims Molan and other hosts encouraged Broham to ‘do all his accents’ as Molan, a new member of the team, hadn’t yet heard them.
He started with Irish then American, then ‘Oh herro’ in caricature Chinese and Japanese accents, which Hadley said sounded the same.
‘No, thank you very much,’ was then said in an ‘Indian’ accent.
‘Someone will write in now and say we’re being racist. I think it’s hilarious,’ Molan said once Broham had finished.
The defence alleges Molan by April 1 that year was having her own go at a ‘Chinese’ accent, starting with ‘herro, I wery goo lookin’ at the urging of Hadley.
‘I wuv you wery long tiyme, wery handsome man, ohhh, you like to walk with me in a cercle,’ she continued.
Molan then on March 17, 2018, used a ‘Japanese’ accent to say ‘oh yor soh goo’ and ‘you like raw feesh?’ before jokingly asking ‘was that racist?’
When discussing a trip she and Broham took to Bali, Molan put on an ‘Indonesian’ accent to describe being approached at the beach by local women offering massages.
‘Ohhh loo big Aussie mahn, we charge four time amountttt,’ she said. ‘Yore big whyte Aussie mahn. You sucka’.
Molan alleges Daily Mail Australia portrayed her as ‘a racist’ and an ‘arrogant woman of white privilege’ who refused to apologise for deliberately mocking Pacific Islander names. The publication in its defence argued these were true, and her conduct was ‘objectively racist’.
The defence claims that another time, Broham said of his local petrol station cashier: ‘He’s Indian. But he’s a really good bloke.’ Molan asked how he knew the man was Indian, as he ‘could be Pakistani’.
Daily Mail Australia in its defence argued these and other examples transcribed in the document showed the show ‘frequently engaged in discussions containing racist content’.
‘On occasions this included the mocking of ethnic, particularly Pacific Islander and Maori names,’ it read.
‘On other occasions it included crude accents (frequently Chinese and Indian) and references to stereotypes connected to particular races or cultures.
‘[Molan] participated in this conduct directly but also signalled her approval and/or tolerance of the racist content of the program by laughing, saying nothing or sometimes asking in a humorous fashion whether the words recently spoken were in fact racist or whether they should have been said.
‘The Respondent alleges [her] conduct was objectively racist. However even if that was not the case, it was objectively likely to offend persons with an ethnic or racial background common to the ethnicity or race that was being mocked or stereotyped.’
Molan alleged Daily Mail Australia defamed her by claiming she refused to apologise for deliberately mocking Pacific Islander names with her ‘hooka looka’ comment.
She claimed the article also portrayed her as ‘so disrespectful and incompetent that she is unfit to be an NRL commentator’.
Daily Mail Australia alleged in its defence that Molan never actually apologised for mocking Pacific Islander names.
About 4.42pm on June 5, Molan made an apology to Continuous Call colleague Mark Levy while he was filling in for Ben Fordham on the 2GB drive show.
‘Now Erin, we’ve worked together for many, many years and the Continuous Call team of a Saturday and Sunday is predicated on having some fun and sitting around with some mates and having a laugh,’ Levy said.
‘But there were some comments on the weekend that today have caused a bit of a stir.’
Molan replied: ‘Yeah they have, haven’t they Levy, which is never a good thing. Look, as you said, and you know me very well, I would never, ever intentionally offend anybody or hurt anyone’s feelings and if I’ve done that then I am very, very sorry for it.
‘You know, we love to have a laugh and we love to have fun but in the current climate things are very different. So I’ll see you tomorrow, my friend, and we’ll hopefully try to have some fun of a different nature.’
However, Daily Mail Australia claimed in its defence: ‘Her words did not in any case amount to a true apology – she simply stated that if people ‘in the current climate’ had been offended or hurt by her that she was sorry.
‘She did not actually apologise or express regret for anything she had actually done and instead shifted responsibility for offence taken to oversensitive listeners.’
Molan (pictured with her father Senator Jim Molan) repeatedly insisted both to her bosses and her 95,000 Twitter followers, that she hadn’t mocked anyone
Molan referred to this apology days later in a tweet on June 10, claiming there was ‘no refusal to apologise’.
‘The same day the first Daily Mail article was published I went on 2GB Radio – where the original remarks were broadcast – and apologised,’ she wrote.
‘There was no discussion or segment last Saturday regarding how to pronounce Polynesian names – nor was I attempting to pronounce or ‘mock’ a Polynesian player’s name,’ she wrote.
‘My remarks were an attempt to reference a story that’s been told multiple times on-air. They were clumsy and inappropriate. I apologised on-air last Friday and that apology stands.’
Daily Mail Australia earlier in the defence document argued the ‘story’ she referred to was itself ‘objectively racist’ and mocked Olakau’atu’s Tongan name.
‘It is apparent from the Applicant’s remark in this statement and from her remarks at [the on-air apology] that whatever ‘inappropriate’ thing she was apologising for it was not for mocking the Polynesian player names, or indeed saying anything about player names at all,’ the defence read.
Furthermore, according to the defence, when Molan’s lawyers demanded a public apology from the publication, they insisted it contain a line accepting that she was not ‘mocking’ the pronunciation of Polynesian names.
Then on June 10, Molan posted a tweet denying she mocked any Polynesian player’s name, and that she never refused to apologise. Daily Mail Australia argues both are incorrect
She said the comments related to ‘a story Darryl [Brohman] tells about chris warren and his dad from a dragons game last year’.
‘[Under the circumstances Molan] lied when she stated that there had been no discussion or segment regarding how to pronounce Polynesian names, and that she was not attempting to pronounce or ‘mock’ a Polynesian name of a player on air,’ the defence document read.
Molan finally alleged the articles left her ‘gravely injured in her character and in her personal and professional reputation’.
‘[She] has suffered hurt and embarrassment and has suffered and will continue to suffer loss and damage.’
Daily Mail Australia rejected this in its defence and ‘denies [Molan] is entitled to the relief claimed or at all’.
The case will have its first hearing in the Federal Court in Sydney on Friday.
Examples of Erin Molan’s ‘racism’ on radio cited by Daily Mail Australia
Molan alleges Daily Mail Australia portrayed her as ‘a racist’, which the publication in its defence argued was substantially true.
The document filed with the Federal Court on Monday cited more than 20 instances of Molan engaging in racist behaviour on the show in 2017 to 2020.
March 18, 2017
Ray Hadley: You know what you haven’t done for a long time. You haven’t done all your accents. Have you done for Erin your accents?
Erin Molan: Yeah, show me, show me.
Darryl Brohman: [American accent] How you doin? Sexy lady.
Ray Hadley: Now your Chinese one.
Darryl Brohman: [Chinese accent] Ho herroo… [Erin Molan and others laugh]
Ray Hadley: Japanese? Japanese please.
Darryl Brohman: Ha oh double herroo… [others laugh]
Ray Hadley: It’s the same.
Darryl Brohman: [Indian accent] No, thank you very much. [others laugh]
Erin Molan: Someone will write in now and say we’re being racist. I think it’s hilarious.
April 1, 2017
Ray Hadley: And now, why don’t we have a conversation with Darryl doing his Chinese and Erin doing her Chinese. God you’re so good looking.
Erin Molan: Herro, I wery goo lookin [unclear] [in Chinese accent].
Ray Hadley: Just do one for me ‘I love you long time’, just do that for me.
Erin Molan: I wuv you wery long tiyme, wery handsome man, ohhh, you like to walk with me in a cercle. [in Chinese accent] [Erin Molan and others laugh] I don’t know what that means.
May 13, 2017
Erin Molan: Bunt-ay….Bunty….
Darryl Brohman: Why are you saying Bunt-ay?
Erin Molan: I’m just trying to think if he had a different last name.
Darryl Brohman: His last name’s Afoa, it’s not Bunt-ay.
Erin Molan: Yeah I know but I’m just thinking of different last names it might be funny. I wasn’t gonna share them I was just thinking in my head. [Erin Molan laughs] Sorry. Back to you….Buntay…. Is it Buntay or Bunty?
July 1, 2017
Mark Levy: Mate I went up on Parramatta road yesterday. I said to the Indian bloke, I said ‘Ched…wash me car, don’t take me money’. [Others laugh]
Erin Molan: You can’t say that.
Mark Levy: What do you mean I can’t say it? He was an Indian bloke. [Erin Molan laughs]
Bob Fulton: What did he say to you? What did he say? We need an accent here. [Erin Molan and others laugh]
Erin Molan: That’s where you’ll get in trouble. [Erin Molan and others laugh]
April 19, 2017
In a discussion of the popularity of the Fijian name ‘Nakubuwai’, Molan suddenly started singing 1961 song The Lion Sleeps Tonight.
September 2, 2017
While discussing six members of the same family playing for the Highlanders rugby team in New Zealand.
Erin Molan: I think you look like a great group of men. [Erin Molan laughs]
Darryl Brohman: Also got a lovely bunch of coconuts [in accent] [Erin Molan and others laugh]
Erin Molan: A lovely bu… [Erin Molan laughs] Is that racist?
Darryl Brohman: No.
Erin Molan: Oh [Erin Molan laughs].
Darryl Brohman: It’s a song, you idiot. I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts. [Erin Molan laughs].
Bob Fulton: I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts [Others sing with accent]. [Erin Molan and others laugh]
Erin Molan: I thought you meant ’cause there were Islanders there. [Erin Molan and others laugh]
March 17, 2018
Erin Molan: Oh yor soh goo [Asian accent] [Erin Molan and others laugh]
Erin Molan: You like raw feesh… [Asian accent] [Erin Molan and others laugh] Sorry, was that racist?
Bob Fulton: Yeah…it wasn’t good.
April 7, 2018
Darryl Brohman: But you’d think one of them would say [Jamaican accent] ‘Hey mahn, this is a long way. We’re at the Gold Coast mahn.’ [Erin Molan laughs]
Erin Molan: Where’s Sanka mahn… [Erin Molan laughs]
Darryl Brohman: ‘Where ya going mahn? You’re going the wrong way mahn?’ [Erin Molan and others laugh]
Erin Molan: ‘Turn left Sanka’ [Jamaican accent]
Bob Fulton: I think it was a ladies’ volleyball team, so they wouldn’t be going [Jamaican accent] ‘Hey mahn’
Erin Molan: [Jamaican accent] Hey mahn! Hey mahn!
Darryl Brohman: You don’t think the Western Indian ladies talk like that? Course they do.
Erin Molan: Dalte…dalte….datcho… No that’s Indian [Erin Molan laughs]
Darryl Brohman: They don’t say bro.
Erin Molan: ‘I think we gonna miss our beach volleyball, bro.’ [Jamaican accent] Churrr. Like a tiger. [Erin Molan and others laugh]
August 18, 2018
Erin Molan: [American accent] Hello, hello yall, hello. Hello and welcome to Channel Nine Football right here on Channel Nine. It’s Saturday night everybody. Get your party hats on ye-haw. [Asian accent] Like a tyga. Like a tyga
Bob Fulton: What? You’ve gone Indian?
Erin Molan: [Asian accent] I like your hair
Bob Fulton: We’ve got an American Indian. [Erin Molan and others laugh]
Mark Levy: [stereotypical native American war cry]
Erin Molan: I don’t know what’s PC or not anymore. I can’t laugh. [Erin Molan laughs]
Mark Levy: Stuff the PC brigade. That’s what we’re saying. [Erin Molan laughs]
August 18, 2018
Ray Warren: Corey Harawira-Naera, Darryl, will start at block with Kaide Ellis joining the bench in 18. So luckily you don’t have to call that one…
Darryl Brohman: I might have a drink with him tonight. G’day Corey Harawira-Naera. Well that’s how I will be talking by the end of the night [mumbles] Corey Harawira-Naera [mock slurring of name].
Erin Molan: [Erin Molan and others laugh] Rrrrr….
September 8, 2018
During a discussion on pronouncing Maori names, with many instances of the hosts making crude jokes about them:
Erin Molan: It’s Foo-seh-too-a-ya-ya-ya.
Darryl Brohman: So what about his surname, what do you call him, Kata or Katar.
Erin Molan: Qatar is a city in the middle east.
Ray Hadley: It’s Kwi-tar. [Erin Molan laughs]
Erin Molan: Same difference.
May 18, 2019
Discussing a trip she and Broham took to Bali, Molan put on an ‘Indonesian’ accent to describe being approached at the beach by local women offering massages.
Darryl Brohman: ‘Haaa I got the saucy guy so goo, so big’ [in Asian accent] [Erin Molan and others laugh].
Erin Molan: Ray, I’ve been at the beach with Big Marn when they’ve approached and it was more like ‘ohhh loo big Aussie mahn, we charge four time amountttt’. [in Asian accent] [Erin Molan and others laugh]
Ray Hadley: I know what you would have said ‘hey girls, we want 8 of you over here, one start that end, the other start this end’, ‘we found one over here’, ‘this will be a all-dayer’ [Erin Molan and others laugh]
Darryl Brohman: Not necessarily. [Erin Molan and others laugh]. As soon as I got there Ray it was like a moth to the plague wasn’t it.
Erin Molan: It’s because ‘yore big whyte Aussie mahn. You sucka’. [in Asian accent]
July 13, 2019
Darryl Brohman: I say… ‘Dat fity dolla, you like, like free bowl with it, that fityfive. Fityfive dolla.’ [Asian accent]
Erin Molan: [Erin Molan laughs] It’s not free. If it’s 55, it’s not free.
Darryl Brohman: They won’t know! They’re putting it on a credit card. [Erin Molan and others laugh]
Bob Fulton: That’s fraud! [Erin Molan and others laugh]
Darryl Brohman: ‘Dat fityfive dolla, fityfive dolla if you want special.’
August 10, 2019
Darryl Brohman: I can do Chinese Survivor.
Erin Molan: Go do it then [Erin Molan laughs]
Mark Levy: Go on, Chinese….come on.
Darryl Brohman: [Oriental music playing in background] ‘Pwevioshly on Shurvivor…Chinese Shurvivor….’ [Chinese accent] [Erin Molan laughs] Ah cookie boy… Look at dis guy… Look at dis [unclear] [Chinese accent] [Erin Molan and others laugh]
Mark Levy: You’ve got to speak Chinese! Not a cross!
Erin Molan: Ching-hao [Chinese accent] [Erin Molan and others laugh]
Darryl Brohman: Look at dis bloke… You gotta climb dat pole…he can’t get up that pole. It’s a gweasy pole. He can’t get up, he’s a big fatty…should be doing some westling. [Chinese accent] [Erin Molan laughs]
Bob Fulton: Hey cookie boy [others laugh].
Erin Molan: What about Indian Survivor?
Darryl Brohman: Ooh, thank you very much. [Indian accent] [Erin Molan and others laugh]
August 24, 2019
Darryl Brohman: Gonna put a big nappy on so I look like a sumo and say ‘come and get it! Big Marn’s Chinese Cookbook!’
Ris is your cookbook…. Rou Ranna Row How to Cook stuff….Get this crookbook [Chinese accent] [Erin Molan and others laugh]
Bob Fulton: What about…. Special fwi wice… [Chinese accent] [Erin Molan and others laugh]
Darryl Brohman: Wong-tong? Wong-tong? Wong-tong, gong-kong and pork-kong? [Chinese accent] [Others laugh]
Erin Molan: Now we’re all talking like Ohhh…you no….bad boy….you naughty….dwop your pen [Erin Molan laughs]…..pick up your chopstick [Asian accent]
Darryl Brohman: Well mine’s gonna be MSG free because I don’t know what it is.
Erin Molan: No but you don’t want that. That’s the only thing that makes it taste like takeaway Chinese is the MSG in it.
I can tell your cookbook ain’t gonna go well if it’s got no MSG. MSG’s what makes it taste good. That’s the goodness of the takeaway.
October 5, 2019
Ray Hadley: I ran into Chris Warren during the week… he was practicing the names for the women’s premiership grand final tomorrow, Darryl, that he’ll be calling.
Darryl Brohman: Mate… because… they get him on….I think Middo tells Rabs and then Rabs tells Chris, then they have correspondence between each other….
‘Dad, how do you spell Cooka-ducka-dacka-do? I mean, how do you say it dad?’ [Erin Molan laughs]
‘Well, Middo told me it’s cooka-toka-tonka-loss’
‘Well I don’t think it is dad. I think it’s cooka-toka-lucka-loo’ [Erin Molan and others laugh]
‘Let me check with Middo. Goodbye’
Darryl Brohman: ‘David. Rabs Warren. Can you tell me how to pronounce this gentleman, number 16 in the program. The Big League program that is.’
‘That’s Cooka-tacka-tacka-li’ [Erin Molan laughs]
‘No it’s not it’s Cooka-tacka-tacka-lee’ [Erin Molan laughs]
Darryl Brohman: ‘Well my son Chris say’s it’s Cooka-tucka-luck. Which one do you think we should go with? David?’ [Erin Molan laughs]
‘I don’t know Rabs. What do you want to go with?’ [Erin Molan laughs]
‘I’m going Cooka-tucka-lacka-lacka-lee’ [Erin Molan laughs]
Erin Molan: Tooka-looka-….[ Erin Molan and others laugh]
April 5, 2020
When Daily Mail Australia asked Molan about her ‘hooka looka’ outburst, she said she was referencing this broadcast.
Brohman told an exaggerated story about a debate between father and son commentators, Ray and Chris Warren.
The pair were debating how to pronounce the name of reserve Manly forward of Tongan decent, Haumole Olakau’atu.
Darryl Broham: ‘He had a name with about 30 letters in it, and I had trouble pronouncing it and I said to Chris ‘Mate, how do you pronounce this bloke’s name?’
He said ‘Well Dad and I have been discussing this today because Dad’s down about in his luxurious box a little bit down the road…’
I said, ‘well what happened?’
He said ‘Well dad thought his name was Chooka-lucka-loo-loo, but I said no, no, no, Dad, I think it’s Chooka-lucka-loo-loo-loo-loo’ [Erin Molan and others laugh]
He says ‘Chris, that’s incorrect. It’s Chooka-kaloola-loolalo’ [Erin Molan and others laugh]
He says ‘Well, I’m not so sure Dad. The way I look at its Chooka-kalala-looliew’ [Erin Molan and others laugh]
I said ‘Well, it’s a hell of a predicament we’ve got ourselves in here.’ [Erin Molan and others laugh]
He says, ‘I’ll just go check with Dad again’.
‘Is it Chooka-kalooloo-laloo?’ [Erin Molan and others laugh]
He said ‘No. It’s Chooka-kaloola-looloo-loola’ [Erin Molan and others laugh]
So I’m going with that today big marn.
He said ‘okay what’s name? Let’s just call him Sebby…’ [Erin Molan and others laugh]
This story was repeated in a shorter form on April 12, 2020, and Molan joined in saying: ‘What was the name again? Pooka-pocka-pooka-pa?’
April 12, 2020
Erin Molan: Hey, Rabs, last week, Big Marn told a very funny story about you and Chris and an interaction you had when you both called from the same ground.
Darryl has been known to exaggerate a little bit so what I’d love now, if this is okay with you, Levy, as the host, is for Darryl to retell that story and Rabs you to tell us afterwards the level of accuracy from 0 to 10. Would that be okay?
Ray Warren: Whatever you want, Erin.
The April 5 story was then retold in much the same way as the original
Later on April 12, 2020
Darryl Brohman: When you go to a service station, are you like me, do you go to that service station all the time through thick and thin?
Mark Levy: Yep. Solid as a rock.
Darryl Brohman: I do as well. I even know the bloke there now, he’s a beautiful bloke. He’s Indian. But he’s a really good bloke.
Erin Molan: Is there only one?
Darryl Brohman: I said ‘how are you going mate?’ He said ‘oh, very good thank you very much’ [Indian accent]
Erin Molan: Oh, Darryl. [Erin Molan laughs] You can’t…
Darryl Brohman: That’s how he talks.
Mark Levy: I’m very loyal to my service station as well. And yes, Darryl, my service station attendant is Indian and he thinks my name is Russell.
Erin Molan: Can I just ask everyone how do you know they’re Indian?
Mark Levy: Because I’ve had a conversation with him…
Erin Molan: He could be Pakistani….
Mark Levy: No, he’s Indian.
Darryl Brohman: There’s a difference. [Erin Molan laughs]
Erin Molan: I know there’s a difference.