Radio heavyweights are trading insults over Ray Hadley replacing Macklemore's song during the grand final broadcast

Radio host Ray Hadley. Photo: Getty Images

Two of the biggest names in AM radio, Melbourne’s Neil Mitchell and Sydney’s Ray Hadley, traded insults after their respective stations, 3AW and 2GB, decided to not play Macklemore’s same-sex marriage hit, Same Love, during Sunday’s NRL grand final broadcast.

A pre-recorded rap song Hadley made with his daughter was broadcast instead, leading Mitchell to call the move “unprofessional and embarrassing”.

“I was appalled,” he said.

A furious Hadley, well known for his abusive rants, responded by calling Mitchell a “jerk” and a “wanker” who should “stick your head up your bum”.

The move came after calls to ban number one hit from the US rapper’s performance at the grand final, including by Liberal backbencher Tony Abbott, who said sport should not be politicised.

The controversy pushed the song back to the top of the charts last week and Macklemore promised to donate any profits from its sale to Australia’s same-sex marriage “Yes” campaign.

2GB denied the decision to not play the Macklemore song was censorship, with Macquarie Media’s chief operating officer Adam Lang telling Fairfax Media that “they had a bit of fun” with Hadley’s song instead.

The move, Lang said, reflected the fact that “Ray has thought, for some time, the NRL should have Australian artists perform at the grand final”.

The sister stations, majority owned by Fairfax Media, in joint venture with advertising multi-millionaire John Singleton, seemed happy to fuel the flames this morning, retreating the comments from the two heavyweights of talkback radio.

Hadley told his listeners that the decision to play his parody song was a “gee-up” and had “nothing to do with marriage equality”.

“It was about an Australian performing, not Macklemore, for God’s sake,” he said, adding that it was recorded five years ago.

“I thought John Farnham should have been there.”

Hadley also had Tony Abbott back on his show this morning agreeing that it should have been an Australian performer.

“I thought that we could have got someone who was (a) Australian and (b) not going to be contentious on this current issue,” Abbott said.

“It’s a very Australian sport. It’s the ultimate Australian weekend, why do we need to import people?”

The former PM then went on to offer some insights into his musical tastes, with include 80s US country and 90s Australian boy band.

“Like me Ray, you probably don’t listen to any music from after 1975,” he said.

“Except for Travelling Wilberries and Savage Garden — they were pretty good!”

When news of Abbott’s comments reached Savage Garden’s lead singer Darren Hayes, he was quick to make his feelings known.

Hayes is gay and married his partner, Richard Cullen, in London in 2005, and then again in July 2013, to show their support for same-sex marriage.

Hayes also wrote to PM Malcolm Turnbull last year criticising the government’s plan for a plebiscite on the issue.

Here’s the song that caused all the fuss this week.

The NRL’s tweet has been liked more than 23,000 times and shared more than 9,000 times.

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