Samantha Armytage Has Apologised For That Weirdly Racist Comment But People Still Aren’t Very Happy
If you've said something that Kochie is visibly shocked by, you should probably apologise right away.
It’s been nearly two months since Sunrise co-host/Kochie’s reluctant babysitter Samantha Armytage interviewed British twins Maria and Lucy Aylmer, and she has now apologised for the bizarrely racist aside she dropped midway through.
“I would be mortified if anyone thought I would say or think anything racist,” Armytage said in a statement given to the The Daily Mail. “It’s not in my nature. To anyone who I might have offended, I’m sorry.”
If your justifiable hatred of morning TV has stopped you clicking on any of the links until now, this was all because the twins she was interviewing had completely different skin tones and Armytage maybe, kind of, pretty much congratulated the one with fairer skin for being white.
Unless Armytage chose her morning show to casually reveal her secret double life as a white supremacist, it’s most likely a really unfortunate turn of phrase that she probably should have paid more attention to at the time. For the record, Armytage and Sunrise management maintain she was making a self-deprecating joke about her own pale skin and didn’t mean to cause offence. Either way, it elicited a spectacular reaction from Kochie that has somehow led the rest of the world into thinking that he is some kind of voice of reason on Australian TV.
Let me be the first to assure you, he is not.
Though the interview took place on March 6, the internet seemed to catch on to it earlier last week after the clip was mocked on Charlie Pickering’s new show The Weekly. Since then, it’s made international headlines in The Huffington Post, The Independent, Jezebel, and Vox. A Change.org petition also started circulating with more than 4,600 people calling for a public apology.
“This type of racist dialogue cannot continue to be ignored in Australia and be allowed to be viewed as acceptable,” the petition read.
Since then, Lucy Aylmer — the twin with darker skin — has defended Armytage, stating she took no offence from her comments.
“THIS IS DISGUSTING AND WE WANT THIS PETITION TAKEN DOWN. SAM IS NOT A RACIST,” she wrote on Facebook. “Maybe as a presenter she should of been more careful of her wording, [knowing] potential backlash, but in no way owes an apology for being a ‘racist’.”
Regardless, the presenter’s subsequent apology has now been backed up by Sunrise producer Michael Pell. “Sam has always admitted that her own fair complexion was a disadvantage in the Australian environment,” he said, with such spectacularly awkward wording it’s kind of contentious in itself. “We apologise if anyone misunderstood or if they were offended.”
The Daily Mail report that the creator of the Change.org petition has thanked Armytage for her apology, but many on social media are being less forgiving.
Your display of casual racism is disgusting @sam_armytage and so is your non-apology! Good on you for outing yourself
— Sofia Nicole (@SofieYeaah) April 28, 2015
@sam_armytage and if we're the ones taking your comment outta context, then why was your co-anchor seemingly taken aback at that very moment
— Actually Kevin Gray (@kevlive) April 28, 2015
An apology that includes the words "to anyone I might have offended" is not an apology @sam_armytage!
— Karεn Ciѵil (@KarenCivil) April 28, 2015
There’s also a large contingent who are bombarding her with straight-up abusive messages over Twitter, which obviously aren’t helpful at all.
But in future, when a man who thought it was appropriate to give his co-anchor a stripper pole live on air throws you a face like this, you should probably know you done fucked up.