Sport AFL Footy Show demeans Rebecca Maddern with sexist prank

Footy Show demeans Rebecca Maddern with sexist prank

Rebecca Maddern's co-hosts joked she "looks like Shrek without makeup". Photo: Nine
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Rebecca Maddern, the sole female host on Nine’s AFL Footy Show, was made the butt of a crass, sexist joke by her co-hosts after she dared to criticise fan-made team banners at football matches.

On Thursday night’s episode of the panel show, Maddern’s colleagues Dave ‘Hughesy’ Hughes and Craig Hutchison decided to grill Maddern over her stance on the age-old tradition.

The 39-year-old presenter prompted uproar last week when she suggested the crepe paper banners made the game feel less professional.

“Don’t you think it’s maybe time we don’t have the banners?” Maddern mooted at the time.

“Everything in the game has become very professional and to start the game we run through a bit of crepe paper that costs $2.50. It’s time we get rid of the banners.”

The football world responded with outrage, with Essendon great Tim Watson defending the banners as “a feature of our great game that should be preserved forever”.

Maddern said she had since been harassed online and in the street for suggesting the sport do away with the tradition.

“I’ve been trolled on Twitter,” Maddern revealed on Thursday night.

“I’ve been accosted in the street, I’ve had Tim Watson have a go at me. Everybody’s had a go at me … stop booing me!”

But the backlash didn’t end there, with Maddern’s co-hosts replaying her original comments to the sound of boos coming from the audience.

“Why do you hate the fans so much?” Hutchison asked.

Is this ever going to end?” a visibly irritated Maddern responded.

Hughes proceeded to tell Maddern the AFL cheer squad had created a banner specifically for her.

“We’re going to get you to run through it a little later on but just have a look at what it says,” Hughes said, as two men held up a banner with a topless woman on it.

The banner read: “No hard feelins Bec, but what the heck?! Without makeup you look like Shrek.”

“You’re out of line there Hughesy,” panellist Sam Newman said. “You’re on your own.”

Later in the episode, Maddern was forced to run through the banner.

“Why do I have to do this?” she asked, as Newman asked her to take her shoes off before leading her to the banner.

While Maddern, who joined the show in April last year, appeared to take the joke in good humour, fans watching at home were less than impressed with the display.

“Why humiliate RebeccaMaddern9 like that,” one Twitter user wrote. “You would never insult a male journo’s looks because he had a different opinion.”

“I’m all for being funny and entertaining but seriously that bit had not one bit of class to it. Don’t care if it was PC or not. Just plain rude,” another said.

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