Kerri-Anne Kennerley’s stint on Studio 10 came to an end today as she was axed by the Ten Network to cut costs.
Kennerley, a veteran television host who first appeared on our screens at age 14, was cut from the program along with colleagues Natarsha Belling and long-serving weatherman Tim Bailey.
She started on Studio 10 in 2018 and her time has included a string of high profile controversies and incidents.
Kennerley was at the centre of a heated racial debate last year when she made comments about remote Aboriginal communities following anti-Australia Day rallies.
Kennerley suggested the protesters had never “been to the outback”.
“Where children, babies, five-year-olds are being raped. Their mothers are being raped, their sisters are being raped. What have you (protesters) done?”
“That is not even faintly true, Kerri-Anne. You’re sounding quite racist right now,” co-host Yumi Stynes responded, before the two began arguing.
“Keep going then, because every time you open your mouth you’re sounding racist,” said Stynes.
The pair were due to speak again the following day, but Stynes cancelled her appearance, saying she felt like she was “walking into a trap”.
“The fact is I’ve looked back at that tape of my appearance on Studio 10 yesterday and I’m pretty happy with what I’ve said,” Stynes said. “I think I could have been a bit more articulate but I don’t think in any way that anything I said was wrong.”
Kennerley also stood by her comments, writing in a following up article she was talking about contemporary issues she believed in.
“Let me make myself perfectly clear,” Kennerly wrote. “I am talking about abuse here and now. That issue only. I can let others debate the merits of Australia Day.
“To me, the much more pressing issue for not only the Indigenous community but the nation as a whole is the horrific rape of children, babies and women in Indigenous communities as reported by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. The reports are online for all to see. I encourage you to read them. It’s simply mind-boggling.”
The following day, activists organised a snap demonstration outside Channel 10 studios.
“How are people allowed to say these things on national broadcasters and get away with it,” Bruce Shillingsworth, who organised the protest, told news.com.au at the time.
CLIMATE CHANGE PROTESTERS USED AS ‘SPEED BUMP’
In October 2019, Kennerley was again making comments about protesters.
As hundreds of climate change protesters linked to the Extinction Rebellion movement took to cities around Australia, Kennerley suggested they be used as “speed bumps”.
“Personally, I would leave them all super glued to wherever they do it,” she said of protesters who’d glued themselves to roads.
“The guy hanging from the Story Bridge. Why send emergency services? Leave him there until he gets himself out,” she said on Studio 10.
“No emergency services should help them, nobody should do anything, and you just put little witches hats around them, or use them as a speed bump.”
Her co-host Sarah Harris said, “God, you’re going to get us into trouble.”
“Is that wrong? Put them in jail and forget to feed them,” Kennerley continued. “Put them in some of the aged care homes around Australia, that would really sort them out.”
James Norman, a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion (ER), condemned Kennerley’s comments warning she should “think very carefully” about their impact.
“The motivation behind Extinction Rebellion is just to draw attention to the climate emergency, and we always seek to do so in a disruptive but strictly nonviolent manner,” Mr Norman said. He added that ER was a “peaceful, nonviolent organisation”.
KENNERLEY ACCUSED OF ‘SLUT-SHAMING’ FEMALE COLLEAGUE
In December last year senior reporter Antoinette Lattouf from now defunct news website 10 Daily appeared on Studio 10 for a ‘Millennial Speak’ segment.
Towards the end of the segment Kennerley began discussing how she prefers phone calls to texting, when she turned to Lattouf, asking her, “Did you forget your pants today?”
Co-hosts Natarsha Belling and Joe Hildebrand appeared shocked by the question, as Lattouf explained, “It’s a playsuit”.
“A playsuit?” Kennerley repeated.
Co-host Angela Bishop interjected, saying, “And she looks unbelievable.”
Kennerley, who had just learned the term “thirsty” (which means ready for sex) then said to camera, “And she’s gonna be thirsty”.
Belling then ended the segment, but it quickly went viral on social media, with commentators including Clementine Ford accusing Kennerley of “slut shaming” Lattouf.
It was later revealed that Kennerley had quickly phoned Lattouf to apologise.
“Kerri-Anne called Antoinette over the weekend and apologised for her comment. She reiterated her comment was not intended to cause offence,” a Network 10 spokesperson told news.com.au at the time.
“They had a respectful conversation and Antoinette accepted her apology.”
Originally published as Moments Kerri-Anne crossed the line
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