The Circle has apologised after co-host Yumi Stynes was blasted by viewers for a misfired gag she made about Victorian Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith, Australia’s most-decorated serving soldier.
And guest co-host George Negus also copped criticism for a follow-up gag.
Roberts-Smith was interviewed for Sunday Night during which he spoke about facing two machine guns firing and AK-47s in order to help save his fellow soldiers in Afghanistan.
Seven’s footage and promos included buff shots of Roberts-Smith in training in the pool.
Commenting on The Circle Yumi Stynes, said, “Hellloooo! Look at that physique! He’s going to dive down to the bottom of the pool and see if his brain is there.”
Negus attempted irony, asked, ” I wonder if they’re not up to it in the sack?”
“Are you intimating George Negus that he could be a dud root?”
On talkback radio both TEN presenters were blasted by callers.
On The Circle‘s official Facebook page the tirade continued:
Sorry very disrespectful to our Aussie Hero. Yumi you stuffed up big time
Judith Maree McIntosh
Absolutely appalled at Yumi’s attitude. This show is really on the way down! Respect people, respect!!!’
An Australian who has been honoured as a V.C. recipient deserves all the accolades we can lavish on him – He’s the epitome of a great Aussie bloke! What a disgusting comment by this bird brain ‘Yumi’ Who is she?? and even more surprising and disappointing is the derogatory comment from George Negus – A journalist I’ve had great respect for in the past – Please George, do the right thing and apologise to this magnificent VC soldier Ben Roberts-Smith. and just sack Yumi Styne – what TV station would want to be associated with her comment.
The Circle is terrible since Chrissy left. She made that show! Fire those two leftover idiots and start a fresh, new show, with hosts who actually have some cooth!
What an absolute disagrace!! How dare you dis-honour a true fair dinkum Australian hero. In an era when people idolise football players and people in the media who are esentially nothing, you put down a person like Ben. This is one of the greatest acts of dis-respect I can think of. And why, because you are trying to be funny.
Who the hell is this moron Yumi???????
Yumi… I f’n love your style!! And PLEASE No-body respond to this comment unless you agree! Sometimes we ALL say things off the bat ! This is what I love about her, and have no doubt many do also! Bring it on! I rarely watch the show now but actually had a laugh! Lighten up people… 🙂
Hi Girls, perhaps you could get your ‘people’ to contact the ‘people’ of the soldier in question to see if he was personally offended by todays light-hearted exchange. If he is (which I highly doubt will be the case), then apologise to him, and everybody else can get only with their boring little judgemental lives. 🙂
The show responded to Facebook complaints by saying:
Gotta love live T.V.!
What started out as an innocent admiration of one of Australia’s heroes today unfortunately ended up changing direction.
I hope you all know us well enough by now to know that we would never set out to upset anyone.
Your feedback is very important to us and we appreciate your input on a daily basis.
So sorry if we offended any of you today.
UPDATE: The Age reports Stynes said on air today that she did not know much about Corporal Roberts-Smith or the Australian Defence Force, and merely saw a ‘‘very handsome guy’’.
‘‘So I made a joke, because how could anybody possibly be so perfect?,’’ Stymes said.
‘‘What I didn’t estimate was how much my joke was not appreciated. I sort of intimated that maybe he wasn’t very smart, because how could you be that buff and spend that much time in a gym and be smart as well? And people have been a bit angry and I’ve been getting a lot of angry messages.
‘‘And I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean to offend anybody and I have total respect for people that work in the the defence forces, and I’ve never met Ben but I’m sure he’s lovely and he does seem like a big family man.’’
A Network TEN Spokesperson said, “Network TEN apologises for the comments made on The Circle yesterday surrounding Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith. We recognise he is a highly decorated soldier, national hero and we have the utmost respect for him. We are sorry for any offence this may have caused him and sincerely echo today’s apology by The Circle.”
After her on-air apology, a tearful Stynes announced her engagement when co-host Gorgi Coghlan said she was lucky to have a supportive partner during an emotional time.