Wellington, Oct 9 (ANI): After being urged by many, including Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples, that controversial TV presenter Paul Henry's should be sacked for his 'racist' comments against New Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, TVNZ's chief executive Rick Ellis today said that he would decide Henry's future over the weekend.
According to the New Zealand Herald, Ellis said that Henry's future was uncertain, despite his earlier claims that Henry's job was not on the line.
"I think that as the week has progressed and the complaints have continued to roll into the company, you've really got to reassess things each day and I'll be reflecting over the weekend and again on Monday as to where we go from here," he added.
On being asked whether the comments were 'racist', Ellis said: "Certainly the comments that he's made have clearly been of a racist nature and they could only be interpreted that way ... as a person deep down I think he's a very decent human being."
His comments have come after Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples said that Henry should be sacked from his job. Sharples is the second senior minister to cast doubt over Henry's position as Breakfast co-host.
Earlier Communications Minister Steven Joyce suggested he was becoming a liability.
Following Henry's comments, the Indian government had expressed its displeasure and summoned the New Zealand high commissioner over the issue.
Meanwhile, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has said today that the 'racist' comments by one of the country's TV presenters about New Delhi Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, has embarrassed his country.
On Friday, New Zealand's high commissioner in India Rupert Holborow and its Foreign Minister Murray McCully had both apologised for the comments calling it "culturally insensitive, inappropriate and vulgar," Holborow said although he was powerless to act against Henry who had made "gratuitous and insulting" race remarks about Dikshit, he accepted that it was a " regrettable abuse of freedom of speech".
As of now, TVNZ has suspended Henry for two weeks without pay. (ANI)