Jane Hansen and Fiona McKenzie ‘fess up’ to writing television exposé Boned

Two women have come forward as the authors of the 2008 novel Boned, which “blew the lid off the blokey culture of commercial television”.

The book was originally published under an anonymous byline, however in The Sunday Telegraph today, former Nine Network journalist Jane Hansen revealed she and former reporter Fiona McKenzie were behind it.

In her revelations in The Sunday Telegraph today Hansen – who was a journalist at Nine between 1995 and 2008 before joining News Corp in 2009 – said the book eventuated because somebody had to take a stand against television’s problematic boys’ club.

“As veterans of the television world, we were horrified by the despicable behaviour of the men in charge. So we decided to make our small protest against it,” Hansen said.

“When we wrote Boned, we had both left our jobs. We had young babies and we were freelancing. We’d also been beaten down by the boys’ club. We’d been bullied. But we were never victims,” she wrote.

She said while the book was unashamedly “chick lit”, it aimed to satirise the struggles female journalists face.

“We hoped it would challenge the serious culture problem that is still alive today,” she said.

Hansen said the temptation for men to abuse their power in television is still too strong and bad behaviour is rewarded with promotions.

Boned: Satirised television’s women problem

Hansen’s admissions come in the wake of various sexual harassment and abuse scandals both abroad, in the form of Harvey Weinstein and The Today Show’s Matt Lauer, and at home where accusations are continuing to pour in against the likes of Don Burke.

It was also announced this weekend Australian Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush would step down as president of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) amid allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

This renewed movement in Australia against predatory behaviour in media circles began when veteran journalist and presenter Tracey Spicer and fellow campaigners called for women to come forward with their stories.

Spicer helped uncover the Burke scandal, telling the ABC: “The name that kept popping up again and again and again was Don Burke. In the case of Channel Nine, this protection racket went to the very top.”

Spicer herself however, was critical of Boned’s approach and its lead character, writing for News Corp in 2009 that the book missed the mark.

“Boned seems to be written by one of two people.

“One is a man who worked in television newsrooms 20 years ago when female newsreaders were hard-drinking players who gave as good as they got, not the insipid, polite, Evian sipping creatures we’ve become. Smoke? Drink Red Bull? Not on your life. It might ruin our looks, and God knows time is running out,” she said before speculating the second option was “a doyenne of women’s magazines who’s decided to venture into that dreaded genre, chick lit”.

Hansen: Spent decades in television

In The Sunday Telegraph today though, Hansen said Spicer and Boned’s authors were “on the same side”.

“She [lead character Kate] was slightly flawed, yes, and she stood up to the bad behaviour and was in the process of being boned as a result, a regular occurrence even today.

“You’d know more just like her if they weren’t boned so often.”

Nine has been approached for comment about Hansen’s time with the network.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.