Johanna Griggs and Basil Zempilas did not check with Seven management before they unloaded on the Commonwealth Games host broadcaster NEP Australia, but have the backing of the CEO and Chairman.
Speaking this morning on 6PR, Zempilas was asked by showbiz commentator Peter Ford at what point did they realise something needed to be said?
“Halfway through the speeches,” Zempilas said. “People couldn’t see at home, the athletes were streaming out. They’d had enough and the crowd was streaming out. By the time we had the Sisters concert -which went on too long as well as the speeches which were far too long- there was nobody left in the stadium.
“We knew at that stage something needed to be said,” he continued.
“We didn’t check ‘Is it ok to say it?’ but down the line to the Producer we said ‘Look, we’re thinking of saying something like this.’ And nobody said back to us ‘Don’t say it,’ so we said it.”
Griggs was also gauging the furore on social media but it was evident at Carrara Stadium the event was a misfire.
“The people we were judging it by were the athletes, and the people in the crowd,” Zempilas continued. “They had all left and that told us something was badly wrong with the ceremony.
“On the night we had a wrap party and I saw both Tim Worner and Kerry Stokes who’d been briefed on what we said. And they both congratulated us for saying what we said.
“They said ‘It needed to be said and we’re glad you said it, and you said it well.'”
Seven maintains it was not aware vision supplied would exclude athletes partying on the ground as is traditional for a Closing Ceremony, despite attending a media briefing the day before.
— Belinda Seeney (@BelindaSeeney) April 15, 2018