Today show accused of child cruelty after lie detector stunt makes six-year-old girl cry

Nine’s Today Show has been hit by a viewer backlash after putting children through a fake lie detector test which saw a six-year-old girl reduced to tears and others told they were lying when they said they liked pre-school.

lie detector crying 2

The segment featured Weekend Today presenter Deb Knight quizzing children as young as five on whether they had been naughty or nice.

Knight persuaded one girl to admit that she had said a “bad word” and invited her to repeat the phrase, which was bleeped. The girl then started to cry.

knight lie detector

Each time a child said they did enjoy going to kindergarden, the lie detector unit – actually a metal colander decorated with flashing lights – buzzed to say they were lying.

The segment ended with Knight, who is expecting her third child in February, hugging the crying girl.

deb knight crying girl

Angry viewers on the show’s Facebook page accused Today of “child abuse” and “demeaning” the children.

Several comments – including one accusing the show of “psychological bullying” – appear to have since been deleted from the show’s page.

The segment was based on one created by US late night host Jimmy Kimmel two years ago, although the children were not reduced to tears in that version.

Nine has been approached for comment but had not responded at the time of publication.

Tim Burrowes


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