Sarah and her fellow The Project host Waleed Aly issued a lengthy apology for Reuben’s Jesus joke during the March 1 episode. Waleed said:
“During an interview last night, our guest told a joke which we know was deeply and needlessly offensive to many of you.”
“We want to acknowledge the particular offence and hurt that that caused our Muslim, but especially our Christian viewers. Obviously, I understand just how profound that offence was,” Waleed continued.
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Sarah added, “Live TV is unpredictable and when this happened in the last few moments of last night’s show, it genuinely took us all by surprise and there wasn’t a lot of time to react in any sort of considered way.”
The two then went on to simply apologise to viewers. “We acknowledge the offence that it caused but more than that, we’re sorry,” Waleed said before Sarah chimed in with, “Very sorry.”
The apology came after Reuban made a joke about Jesus that got many viewers riled up during his appearance on the February 28 episode of The Project.
Initially, Reuben explained that he regularly gets people negatively messaging him on TikTok and they criticise his sexuality from a “religious angle”.
The comedian then joked, “I think it’s hilarious when someone messages me and says, ‘You have to accept Jesus’ love or you will burn in hell,’ because I love Jesus. I love any man who can get nailed for three days straight and come back for more.”
The Project host Waleed Aly looked a little shocked but his fellow host Sarah Harris burst out laughing, as did the live audience.
However, many viewers took to social media to voice their outrage at Reuben’s joke. Some demanded the Channel 10 show make a formal apology (which they now have).
On Facebook, one viewer wrote, “Would be nice to see an apology for the insulting comments made about Jesus,” while another said, “The Project, what on earth were you thinking about when airing and promoting hate against the Christian community? Where did ‘equality and inclusion’ go? Treat everyone the way you would want to be treated.”
Meanwhile on Twitter, a viewer wrote, “@theprojecttv that was a disgusting joke about Jesus. You better apologise to your viewers. Inclusion is not exclusive to only some groups. I accidentally watched it while waiting for Survivor to start. Panel looked uncomfortable and should have spoke[n] up.”
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Another Twitter user wrote, “Very disappointed by the joke about Jesus. Complete loss of trust in @theprojecttv” while another said, “His Jesus joke was inappropriate. It’s a 6.30pm - 7.30pm time slot. No one on the panel called him out which was really disappointing, and Sarah cracking up, come on girl, you’re better than that 🙄”.
Of course, some fans of The Project defended Reuben and his joke.
“All of the conservative people losing their shit is funnier than the @ReubenKaye Jesus Joke, and that was hella funny. 🤣🤣🤣,” one Twitter user wrote.
Another said, “People losing their MINDS over @ReubenKaye on The Project doing some Jesus gear. It’s FUNNY. Grow up.”