Nicole Martini, who lucked out in the show’s Blind Auditions, wrote on her blog that the phrasing on the official Facebook page left her open to online criticism.
The Voice posted a status making reference to my quote on the show. The status read: “Bombshell or bomb? What did you think of Nicole Martini’s performance?” On top of having my character ripped, this phrasing was like opening up a floodgate for people to comment on my body. You would think i had competed on The Ass not in fact The Voice.
I was told I was disgusting, that someone needed to buy a new TV after having seen me on their own (to which I offered them a link to Harvey Norman’s online TV catalogue.) I was told no one wanted to hear my voice cause they couldn’t take their eyes off my thighs. I mean, I know they’re hot but calm down!
Eventually they took the status down, but that was after more than 700 comments without moderation. Now, the good news is, I not only have a thick ass, but even a thick skin, and I chose not to let the keyboard heroes get under it. So what’s my problem then? My problem is simply this… some people couldn’t have dealt with this the same way I did. Some people don’t have thick skin.
The Voice Facebook page is managed by Shine Australia, which own the digital rights for both The Voice and The Voice Kids.
A Shine statement to TV Tonight said:
Shine Australia does not condone behaviour which is offensive, threatening or bullying. We have a legal policy around all our social media activities that is in place to moderate and if necessary ban or remove posts which are offensive or damaging to individuals. This policy covers our sites on Facebook and the web but on sites that are outside our control, we support our talent in managing their own personal space through direct coaching.
All artists on The Voice have ongoing access to a clinical psychologist. They also have a talent team dedicated to supporting them through the process. Shine Australia’s duty of care to the artists is paramount and we have a continuing care beyond the show itself.
A Nine Network spokesperson said:
The Nine Network has dedicated teams who engage with our audiences on all social media platforms. Sometimes our teams need to protect those involved in our shows and we take that responsibility very seriously and dedicate significant resources to it. With The Voice The Voice Kids, we work closely with production company Shine to execute this policy and fully support The Artists who are such an important part of the show.
It’s not the first time Reality contestants have complained about social media bullying, and the problems are exacerbated when the shows goad the audience to cheer the hero and hiss the villain.
When Love Comes To Town participant Rebekah Clayfield said last month she copped abuse online for her upfront behaviour on the show, while House Rules contestant Brooke Strong said this week she was staying offline because “people are pretty horrible and it’s just bullying.”
The last word goes to Nicole Martini:
I’m ENRAGED that cyber bullying continues even in the wake of Charlotte Dawson’s suicide, and I’m pissed off that women’s bodies seem to always be the focus of so much scrutiny. We blame the media but what about ourselves? Why must we make it so difficult for women to love themselves?