Entertainment TV ‘A cockroach’: New twists in Kerri-Anne Kennerley’s Studio 10 racism row

‘A cockroach’: New twists in Kerri-Anne Kennerley’s Studio 10 racism row

Kerri-Anne Kennerley and MP Lidia Thorpe during their impassioned exchange on Studio 10 on Tuesday. Photo: Network Ten
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Police were called to a small protest outside Channel Ten’s Sydney studio on Tuesday as a public racism stoush between Studio 10 co-host Kerri-Anne Kennerley and regular panellist Yumi Stynes gained intensity.

The row took a surprise twist when Stynes cancelled her planned appearance on Studio 10 then had a heated exchange anyway with Kennerley live on The Kyle and Jackie O KIIS FM radio show.

And Studio 10’s racism debate continued with a tense debate between Greens MP Lidia Thorpe and Alice Springs councillor Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, both prominent Indigenous community leaders.

Ms Nampijinpa Price was live in the studio and Ms Thorpe in Melbourne.

The pair clashed repeatedly, and host Sarah Harris was told off by Kennerley when she tried to contribute.

The ugly clash kicked off on-air on Monday when the panel discussed the weekend’s “Invasion Day” protests calling for the date of Australia Day to be changed.

Kennerley asked whether any of the protesters had “been out to the outback, where children, babies, five-year-olds are being raped?

“Their mothers are being raped, their sisters are being raped. What have you done?”

Stynes slammed Kennerley’s comments as “quite racist” and “not even faintly true”.

She told her Studio 10 offsider, “Keep going then, because every time you open your mouth you’re sounding racist”.

Stynes cancelled her planned Tuesday appearance on the show, posting to the Instagram account of her cookbook Zero F––s Cooking that “I really urgently want to lie around and do nothing”.

Stynes said it wasn’t because of her fight with Kennerley: “I am feeling stable and calm and like I’m on the right side of history.”

But Stynes decided not to lie in and to appear on The Kyle & Jackie O show on KIIS FM, where she claimed Kennerley would survive any fallout from the Australia Day debate.

“She’s been around forever. She’s like a cockroach. She can’t be extinguished,” she said, before admitting Kennerley is “an Aussie legend”.

Kyle Sandilands immediately called Kennerley’s mobile number and she picked up.

Asking Stynes “what the heck” she was doing on radio instead of TV, she said, “I am still deeply offended by being called a racist, which is completely untrue”.

After a censored exchange between the women, Kennerley hung up.

Later on Studio 10, Ms Thorpe called on Kennerley to give up “her white privilege” and called for a peace treaty.

“Lidia, I implore you please just answer the question. It is an issue out there children, babies, women are being raped … how do we stop that today as No.1?” Kennerley said.

“If you want to talk about rape and murder, we need to go back to when this country was invaded,” Ms Thorpe said.

Ms Nampijinpa Price had a different view.

“I’d like for Indigenous people to step up and start condemning the perpetrators we all know that exist within our communities, that exist within our families,” she said.

She said her community needs “to start supporting the victims of abuse and to understand their rights come before this idea of culture.

“It’s really not as clear cut as black and white.”

A speaker at the protest outside Ten on Tuesday said via megaphone that Kennerley’s comments were “culturally inappropriate” and called for her to apologise.

Many Studio 10 viewers took to Twitter to support Ms Nampijinpa Price’s argument:

Studio 10 tweets

Others backed Ms Thorpe and condemned the “geriatric” audience which supported Kennerley.

Studio 10 tweet