Politics

Kerri-Anne Kennerley Slammed As Racist During Fiery Debate About Australia Day On ‘Studio 10’

"Every time you open your mouth you're sounding racist."

Studio 10 host Kerri-Anne Kennerley accused of racism

Studio 10 host Kerri-Anne Kennerley has come under fire for comments she made on the program about sexual abuse in Indigenous communities, with guest panellist Yumi Stynes telling her “you’re sounding quite racist”.

The heated exchange came during a debate around the recent Australia Day protests, which attracted tens of thousands of people around the country. Kennerley criticised the protesters, and said they’d be better off “doing something positive”.

“Has any single one of those 5000 people [in Melbourne] waving the flags saying how inappropriate the day is, has any one of them been out to the outback where children, babies and five-year-olds are being raped, their mothers are being raped, their sisters are being raped?” Kennerley asked. “What have you done? Zippo.”

“That is not even faintly true Kerri-Anne and you’re sounding quite racist now,” Stynes replied.

“I’m offended by that, Yumi,” said the veteran TV presenter.

“Well, keep going then, because every time you open your mouth, you’re sounding racist,” Stynes shot back.

Stynes went on to accuse Kennerley of implying that “women aren’t being raped here in big cities, and children aren’t being raped here in big cities,” and of “drawing a straight line [between sexual abuse and Indigenous communities].”

“You’re also implying those 5,000 protesters, none of whom you know personally, are all lazy and idle and indolent,” she added. “You’re asking if any of them have ever done anything as if it’s clear they haven’t.”

But Kennerley defended her position, insisting that it is “Aboriginal elder women who are desperate for help” and that “just because I have a point of view doesn’t mean I’m racist.”

The clash came after Kennerley also criticised people for getting upset about celebrating Australia Day on January 26.

“History is history,” she said. “You may not like it but it is what it is … history, every single continent on the globe was colonised. I have nowhere to go. I will not relinquish any more of the country that is considered by me as mine.”

“I’m not going anywhere, I am as entitled to this land as everybody else.”

Kennerley had been heavily criticised on social media for her remarks, with many echoing the charges levelled at her by Stynes.

The Studio 10 panel is expected to debate the issue again this morning.