ENTERTAINMENT
16/12/2019 2:55 PM AEDT | Updated 16/12/2019 3:48 PM AEDT

Kerri-Anne Kennerley Apologises For Slut Shaming Presenter, But Is It Enough?

The Studio 10 co-Host said sorry to Antoinette Lattouf after asking her, “Did you forget your pants today?” and then calling her “thirsty”.

Channel Ten
Kerri-Anne Kennerley was on Studio 10 this morning after making offensive remarks on the show on Friday.

Kerri-Anne Kennerley has apologised to journalist Antoinette Lattouf for making inappropriate remarks towards her on Studio 10 on Friday.

The 66-year-old television veteran had asked Network 10′s senior journalist and presenter Antoinette, “Did you forget your pants today?” before suggesting she’s “going to be thirsty”, after just learning from co-host Angela Bishop that the term can be used to describe a “horny” feeling.

In a statement provided to HuffPost Australia on Monday, a Network 10 spokesperson said: “Kerri-Anne called Antoinette over the weekend and apologised for her comment. She reiterated her comment was not intended to cause offence. They had a respectful conversation and Antoinette accepted her apology.”

Taking responsibility by apologising could be a sincere reaction from KAK, and damage control on Channel Ten’s part. However, it’s still troubling that after more than 40 years of industry experience, Kerri-Anne believed slut shaming had a place on Australian television when she made the comment on Friday.  It wasn’t a slip of the tongue or related to on-air discussion. They were speaking about emojis for goodness sake.

Channel Ten
On Friday Kerri-Anne Kennerley asked journalist Antoinette Lattouf (centre) "Have you forgot your pants?"

Antoinette was wearing a playsuit that showed only as much leg as Kerri-Anne herself, but regardless of hemlines, what is wrong with a woman wearing what she wants without being shamed for showing some skin?  

So often sexual abuse victims are told they ‘asked for it’ by wearing a short dress, or were ‘leading him on’ because of their blouse’s low-cut neckline. This sexist mentality has no place in society yet alone mainstream television, and a female TV veteran saying her colleague is “thirsty” is only telling viewers these damaging views are acceptable.

I was utterly disappointed to see Kerri-Anne return to Studio 10 on Monday morning. Yes, she apologised, but Channel Ten keeping her on air sends a bigger message that a ‘sorry’ is all it takes to address sexism in the workplace.  

It’s also not the first time KAK’s offensive behaviour has been swept under the rug after outraging viewers.

In January presenter Yumi Stynes told her she was “sounding racist” during a debate about Australia Day and Invasion Day protesters.

“Has any one of them been out to the outback where children, babies and five-year-olds are being raped, their mothers are being raped, their sisters are being raped?” Kerri-Anne had said on air.  

Following an investigation by the Australian Communications and Media authority, the media watchdog cleared Channel Ten over complaints it had breached code 2.6.2 for airing the discussion.

In October she suggested motorists should use climate change protesters “as a speed bump” during a discussion about the arrests of Extinction Rebellion protesters.

“Personally, I would leave them all super glued to wherever they do it,” she said. “The guy hanging from the Story Bridge. Why send emergency services? Leave him there until he gets himself out. 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.”

Channel Ten later issued a statement that KAK’s commended “were said in jest”.

“This morning on Studio 10 Kerri-Anne Kennerly made comments regarding climate protesters that were said in jest. Before the show concluded, Sarah Harris reiterated the tone of her remarks, affirming that Kerri-Anne wasn’t inciting violence,” said a Ten spokesperson at the time.

If you ask me, Kerri-Anne’s time on Aussie TV is done – not because of her age or her gender or any other excuse other than the out of touch comments she makes again and again. We don’t have time for sexism, racism or any more excuses in 2020.