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Erin Molan has been forced to defend a bizarre live radio gaffe in which she appeared to mock the names of Polynesian players.
In a segment with 2GB radio’s ‘The Continuous Call’ recently, Molan was on air with Darryl Brohman and Mark Levy when she made the slip-up.
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Discussing the pronunciation of NRL player names, Molan said “hooka looka mooka hooka fooka.”
After an awkward pause, Brohman said: “What? I’m not sure what she said there”, while Levy quickly changed the subject.
Molan later told the Daily Mail she was referencing an in-joke with Brohman.
The NRL host and Nine Entertainment said Molan was referring to a conversation on the show from April about Ray and Chris Warren - father and son commentators.
Molan and Brohman had previously discussed how the Warrens had disagreed about the pronunciation of Manly forward Haumole Olakau’atu’s name.
“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?’” Broham said at the time.
“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’.”
Molan and Nine defend comments
Nine said Molan was simply joking about the disagreement and any racial undertones were off the mark.
“Erin was was jokingly mocking the difficulty Chris and his father had, going back and forth figuring out how to pronounce a complex name,” the Daily Mail quoted Nine.
“The Big Marn (Broham) retelling the story in his very best Ray and Chris Warren voice.”
Needless to say listeners and social media users weren’t particularly impressed.
About 45 per cent of NRL players have Pacific Island heritage.
On Wednesday Molan took to Instagram with a post supporting the protests in America over George Floyd's death.
The post was a photo of a white hand holding a black one with the caption: “I understand that I will never understand. However, I stand with you.”