Kerri-Anne Kennerley does not feel “abandoned” by Ten bosses after Studio 10’s unlikely celebrity feud over racism, and is not planning to leave the network.
“KAK has been a welcome addition to the Studio 10 family and she will remain as a permanent member of the panel through 2019,” a Ten spokesperson told The New Daily on Monday.
The network’s reassurance on Kennerley’s future came after a story in New Idea claimed a source said the star felt her employer didn’t support her publicly after her on-air clash last week with Yumi Stynes.
“She is not happy with Ten,” said the source.
“After the stoush she told friends, ‘If the network doesn’t apologise, I am walking’.”
According to the story, a disgruntled Kennerley, 65, has her sights set on a job at Nine’s recently-revamped breakfast show Today.
“It’s all BS,” a Ten source told The New Daily on Monday.
Kennerley’s manager Sean Anderson also told The New Daily his high-profile client hasn’t told Ten she needs an apology or will leave.
Since the brouhaha kicked off, Kennerley has been sledged on Ten’s social media accounts as “an embarrassment” and “over the top and opinionated.”
“She is as shallow as a puddle,” wrote one Studio 10 Instagram follower.
The New Idea claims follow a tumultuous week for the Logie Hall of Fame member.
Until last week, Kennerley was best known for her preternatural resistance to ageing and her career longevity rather than her political chops.
She became an unlikely igniter of controversy during a January 28 Studio 10 panel discussion about “Invasion Day” protests calling for the date of Australia Day to be changed.
Kennerley asked if 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, 43, 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 then pulled out of a second appearance on Studio 10 the next day – saying she wanted a day off to “lie around and do nothing” – but bobbed up on KIIS FM’s Kyle & Jackie O show.
— Studio 10 (@Studio10au) January 28, 2019
During that radio segment, Stynes and Kennerley – who was phoned by the show – had another heated exchange.
And even without Stynes, round two kicked off anyway on Studio 10, when Greens MP Lidia Thorpe and Alice Springs councillor Jacinta Nampijinpa Price – both prominent Indigenous community leaders – had a tense debate over the issues raised by Kerri-Anne.
A week on, Kennerley has maintained the political rage while admitting her TV delivery “could have been “smoother and clearer.”
In a piece written for The Daily Telegraph on the weekend, she said her goal in sparking the debate was to highlight “abuse here and now”.
She urged people to read the “simply mind-boggling” Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports about assaults in Indigenous communities.
“How can people turn a blind eye to this? Where are the protests against these crimes? Isn’t this more important than arguing about the merits of a date for a public holiday?”
Kennerley also took a last shot at Stynes’ “lie around” reason for her Studio 10 no-show on January 29: “Each to their own”.