Kerri-Anne Kennerley’s comments that climate protesters should be used as speed bumps were ‘said in jest’, says Ten

Ten has said that Kerri-Anne Kennerley’s comments on Studio 10 that climate protesters should be used as speed bumps, put in jail and not fed were “said in jest” with “no intent to cause offence”.

Earlier this week, the panel was discussing climate demonstrations organised by Extinction Rebellion, a group encouraging civil disobedience to save the world from climate change catastrophe. The protests in 60 cities worldwide have sparked mass arrests, and involved protesters gluing themselves to the road, among other disruptive behaviour designed to draw attention to the cause.

In Australia, multiple people have been arrested, including one man who swung from a harness off Brisbane’s Story Bridge.

Kennerley made the comments on yesterday’s Studio 10 episode

“Personally, I would leave them all super glued to wherever they do it,” Kennerley 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.”

“Kerri-Anne, God, you’re going to get us into trouble,” fellow panellist Sarah Harris responded, putting her head in her hands.

“Is that wrong?” Kennerley asked, before Harris suggested that protesters should face fines rather than jail time.

“No. Put ’em in jail, forget to feed them,” Kennerley added.

In a statement provided to Junkee, Ten responded to the comments: “This morning on Studio 10 Kerri-Anne Kennerley 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.

“Kerri-Anne confirmed that she was indeed speaking in hyperbole and her words were clearly a joke. There was no intent to cause offence. Over the past few days, Studio 10 has extensively addressed a range of opinions on this subject.”

Last week, Studio 10 was cleared by the broadcast industry’s watchdog – the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) – over Kennerley’s comments about Indigenous Australians. On moving the date of Australia Day, Kennerley said: “It was a couple of hundred years ago. Get over it. Let’s just move on”.

She added that supporters of changing the date had done “zippo” to help Indigenous people in the “outback” where “children, babies, five-year-olds are being raped, their mothers are being raped, their sisters are being raped, they get no education”.

“The emphatic and sweeping suggestion by Ms Kennerley of endemic sexual abuse in Indigenous communities could be capable of provoking strong negative feelings in a reasonable person,” said ACMA, but noted panellist Yumi Stynes’ disagreement with Kennerley was enough to balance the segment.

“Every time you open your mouth you’re sounding racist,” Stynes said in response to Kennerley’s comments.


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