‘Fire me’: Kerri-Anne doubles down


Studio 10 host Kerri-Anne Kennerley has explained her controversial rants on the morning show, saying she "can't resist" making comments that could be deemed politically incorrect.

Kennerley appeared on tonight's Sky News program The Death of the Aussie Larrikin?, where host Rowan Dean and commentators including comedians Paul Fenech, Vince Sorrenti and Emma Malik, actor Delvene Delaney and ABC Radio presenter James Valentine explored whether the humour and spirit of the "Aussie larrikin" has been crushed by political correctness.

The 67-year-old has made a number of controversial comments in recent years, none more infamous than a Studio 10 segment last October, when she slammed climate change protesters for disrupting traffic and services across Australia.

"Personally, I would leave them all super glued to wherever they do it," she said.

"The guy hanging from the Story Bridge. Why send emergency services? Leave him there until he gets himself out. No emergency services should help them, nobody should do anything, and you just put little witches hats around them, or use them as a speed bump.

"Is that wrong? Put them in jail and forget to feed them. Put them in some of the aged care homes around Australia, that would really sort them out."

Kerri-Anne Kennerley says she “can’t resist” saying things that could be considered politically incorrect. Picture: Studio 10
Kerri-Anne Kennerley says she “can’t resist” saying things that could be considered politically incorrect. Picture: Studio 10

The comments not only shocked Kennerley's co-host Sarah Harris, but outraged people around the nation, who took to Twitter to label her a "toxic influence on society" and deemed her "absolutely disgraceful".

Asked by Dean in tonight's doco if she self-censors after that experience, Kennerley responded, "Very rarely".

"They really pray I do. They really go, 'Now, you know, maybe, we don't want you to pull back, but you know, maybe' and I go, 'Oh what the, so fire me!'" she said.

"If I'm on Studio 10 and I'm having a cheeky day, and something like (the topic of political correctness) comes up, I can't resist it."

The Extinction Rebellion comments, Kennerley said, were a "joke".

"Something that I said that I thought was funny, that I thought was a joke, but everybody else who didn't think it was a joke, who didn't think it was funny, are perfectly entitled to rail against it. Be completely vicious, that's another thing," she said.

"There will always be an echelon of society who don't really know you and really want to play darts, and it would seem most of those people use social media. And it's very powerful, but it's also not as big as the silent majority. So silent majority, could you just speak up a little bit? Just a little bit more? Thanks. It'd be very helpful."

While Kennerley, along with Fenech, Sorrenti, Delaney and cartoonists Warren Brown and Johannes Leak believe that "political correctness is killing the larrikin", Valentine said that the "larrikinism of the past was male, quite bullying and was directed at everyone else except themselves".

"The notion that Australians can laugh at themselves - oh yeah? Tell me the joke where the white male is the punchline," Valentine, who wrote a Sydney Morning Herald piece last year announcing he was "glad larrikin humour is gone", told Dean.

"The punchline's OK if it's the Aborigine, the woman, the migrant, young people, old people, disabled people, all other religions except their own - all that's fine. But that's not larrikinism, that's just bullying, that's just nasty."

While "there's no doubt that the way we thought 20 and 30 years ago was not right and the pendulum did have to swing," Sorrenti said, "it has swung too far, and that's equally not right".

"People go to a comedy show to see this stuff, to air the dirty linen, to get this stuff out there so people feel more comfortable about these issues when they're being talked about, when they're being humourised."

Fat Pizza's Paul Fenech said he hates political correctness, adding all of his shows "are getting more and more politically incorrect".

"I think the concept of political correctness, say in terms of making things fair for people in the workplace and all that, that's fine. But you don't touch humour. You've gotta leave humour alone."