AFTA CEO Jayson Westbury is under fire after he told agents attending an AFTA webinar that A Current Affair host Tracy Grimshaw “needs to be given a firm uppercut or a slap across the face”.
Westbury made the comments in the webinar recently, regarding the Channel Nine show targeting the travel industry’s response to refunding customer’s trips during the pandemic.
“I think that Tracy Grimshaw needs to be given a firm uppercut or a slap across the face, and I mean that virtually, of course, I wouldn’t want to invoke (sic) any violence on anyone.”
AFTA CEO Jayson Westbury said
The comments were made public when a recording of the webinar was shared on YouTube and on the AFTA website. The content has since been removed.
“I won’t ever be watching it again,” AFTA CEO Jayson Westbury said in relation to A Current Affair.
“But, I mean, some of the behaviour and some of the language that’s being used on that program is just outrageous,” he said.
During the webinar, he told agents that the best thing to do for A Current Affair is just to stop watching.
“That way you’ll stop worrying,” he said.
In response to the comments, Georgie Dent from Women’s Agenda said:
“Your language and sentiment is deeply troubling. The fact you immediately followed it up by saying ‘virtually’ indicates you know as much. But it’s not a zero-sum game; you can’t erase the damage by saying you didn’t mean it. The damage is done by saying the words in the first place. That it was a public and professional forum makes it worse. You are a leader.”
“You are absolutely entitled to be angry, if that’s how you feel, about what Tracy Grimshaw’s show has or hasn’t said about your industry. You can despise her and the show. You can ask every person in your organisation to stop watching. You can do all of that without even suggesting ‘invoking’ violence.
“What you permit you promote. When you make light of violence, you permit the trivialisation of violence. And the thing is that violence against women isn’t funny. Ever. It’s lethal.”
AFTA has since released a statement saying that Jayson Westbury “unreservedly apologises for a comment made towards Tracy Grimshaw the host of the Nine Network program A Current Affair”.
“My comments relating to Ms Grimshaw involved a very poor choice of words. I apologise for that choice and accept the language used was completely inappropriate.”
AFTA CEO Jayson Westbury
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