Sunrise says sorry for virgin auction segment

Virgin auction documentary

Seven has apologised over the broadcast of a segment about the auctioning of virgins on Weekend Sunrise yesterday.

The Sunrise Facebook page was flooded with accusations that the segment endorsed the idea of virgin auctions as well as a documentary on the website.

The segment featured documentary maker Justin Sisely and a Brazilian virgin as guests, which – Sunrise executive producer Adam Boland admitted in a Facebook apology – made for “awkward viewing”.

A man involved in the documentary did not attend the interview.

Andrew O’Keefe, who co-hosts Weekend Sunrise with Samantha Armytage, said on Sunrise’s Facebook page that the intention of the segment – to debate the ethics of virgin auctions – had backfired.

“Unfortunately that debate didn’t happen, partly because one of our guests didn’t show up, and so the segment may have seemed like an endorsement of the project,” he said.

“Unfortunately that debate didn’t happen, partly because one of our guests didn’t show up, and so the segment may have seemed like an endorsement of the project. That wasn’t our intention, and Sam and I would have really liked to have taken it up to our guests,” he said.

“However, due to the fact that the woman at the centre of the story was young, didn’t speak English, and was possibly in way over her head, and had been invited by us to the studio, we felt that we couldn’t do anything to humiliate her before a huge audience (particularly as she may well come to be humiliated before a much larger audience soon). We thought we’d let the story speak for itself instead. Obviously it did, and in a way that offended many of you.”

We apologise.”

Boland’s Facebook apology:

The documentary about the young man and woman ‘auctioning their virginity’ online has received global media attention.


  1. Hoin
    15 Oct 12
    8:33 am

  2. WTF happened with Weekend Sunrise over the last weekend? I was already shaking my head with disbelief over Saturday’s show where AO’K referred to Time magazine as “a right wing publication”, “the conservative Sydney Morning Herald” and that the ABC is not biased to the left, then this astonishing segment came up on Sunday’s show.

    I have blacklisted Sunrise and Weekend Sunrise and like most other people will be watching Today from now on.

  3. Luke S
    15 Oct 12
    9:06 am

  4. Kudos to them on a real apology, not the stock-standard “We apologise for any offense you may have taken, we appreciate your feedback, thanks for watching Weekend Sunrise” bull.

  5. Gemma L
    15 Oct 12
    9:30 am

  6. Refreshing to see a media outlet be so accountable to their viewers.

  7. Viewer
    15 Oct 12
    1:20 pm

  8. I too am boycotting ‘Weekend Sunrise’ and ‘Sunrise’. Had the producers brothered to think this segment through in the beginning there would have been no need for an apology, as it clearly would not have been screened. The segment ‘Kochie’s Angels’ is also a complete waste of time with has-been journalists giving us their useless opinions.

  9. Miria
    15 Oct 12
    1:56 pm

  10. Thanks for the apologies but I would also like to leave my mark as a Brazilian-Australian woman living, working and raising a family in Australia for many years. This segment was offensive to Brazilian women everywhere in the world, we are hard-working, professional and well educated women, fighting to overcome barriers on sexism everywhere. For what it is worth it, this young brainless girl does not reflect who Brazilian women are.

  11. Scotty
    15 Oct 12
    2:04 pm

  12. I prefer to boycott most of Seven’s attempts at journalistic content, but hats-off to Adam Boland for such a frank apology. Impressive.

  13. John Grono
    15 Oct 12
    2:07 pm

  14. Clearly poor judgement prior and during the segment. But as far as mea culpa’s go this is up there with the best – speedy, honest and believable.

    But did she REALLY say “I knew they weren’t going to be rational”?

  15. nell schofield
    15 Oct 12
    2:27 pm

  16. yet again an organisation grossly overreacts to a bit of slacktivist backlash on social media

    i’m sick of the level of censorship being imposed by the hysterical keyboard warrior minority

    guess what network 7 most of your audience aren’t on FB and twitter and actually enjoyed a bit of titillation…

  17. Gregory
    15 Oct 12
    2:51 pm

  18. I agree with Nell. I’m so sick of all of these conservative goody goodies reveling in their pantomime public apologies, all because they were so morally outraged, yadda, yadda, yadda. Welcome to the nanny state for ninnies.

  19. Radvert
    15 Oct 12
    3:30 pm

  20. Nell / Gregory – The irony of your comments is deliciously beautiful,

  21. nell schofield
    15 Oct 12
    5:07 pm

  22. Radvert congratulations on simply sounding conceited but completely failing to make any point whatsover.

  23. PM
    15 Oct 12
    7:43 pm

  24. I don’t know about anyone else, but i really think that this may be a hoax. The woman in the documentary isn’t even believable as a legitimate person, nor is she a particularly good actress, if it turns out that that is the case.

    Looking forward to seeing how this all pans out.

  25. PM
    15 Oct 12
    7:49 pm

  26. And that awkward moment when the girl on the website isn’t the same person as the girl in the ‘documentary’ trailer.

  27. radvert
    16 Oct 12
    2:12 pm

  28. @nell – sorry, let me make my point a little more clearly.

    It’s ill-informed trolls like yourself who are bullying companies into their knee-jerk reaction to social media commentary. Just like you bullied me…right there

    Without people like yourself taking potshots at other commentators and companies, the internet would be a much nicer place.

    Cue…trollish reaction.