6 Cringeworthy Live TV Blunders

1950's era TV news anchor reading the news
SHARE
THIS



In honour of the antics of a passionate Rabbitohs supporter on TV earlier in the week, Vizeum Sydney’s digital director Jane Clinch takes a look at some of the most memorable live TV gaffes from the past few years.

Ah the perils of live TV. Whilst there are constantly live moments being captured and broadcast, when it comes to the unexpected, for networks it can be a PR or legal disaster. For viewers, it’s often comedy gold, or for the more conservative, a source of extreme outrage.

By now you have no doubt seen the footage of Tom Steinfort reporting in front of a crowd of South Sydney supporters during Monday’s 6pm Channel Nine news bulletin when a man in the background pulled down his shorts, in a naked, hip thrusting salute to his beloved Rabbitohs.

(Skip to 0.27)

In honour of these antics let’s take a look back at some memorable live media gaffes over the past few years. Enjoy!

1. Nipplegate

The infamous 2004 Superbowl halftime show, where Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction revealed her breast during a performance with Justin Timberlake. Conservative America was outraged. The incident led to a five-second TV delay for all future performances and some career affecting backlash for Jackson. Apparently the move was supposed to reveal Jackson’s red lace bra, though the lace undergarment was accidentally removed along with the outer layer. Watching it closely, it still seems pretty staged to me

(Skip to 4:07)

2. Jennifer Hawkins loses her skirt

In 2004 during a televised fashion parade at Westfield Miranda, Australia’s very own Miss Universe Jennifer Hawkins had her own wardrobe malfunction. After accidentally standing on her skirt, the whole thing falls to the ground as Jenn hurriedly tries to cover her behind as she rushes off stage. It was criticised as a stunt, though Jenn still maintains it was nothing more than a devastatingly, embarrassing accident.

3. Sarah Murdoch’s winner reveal blunder

It’s not always about showing a bit too much skin, sometimes words alone are enough to do the damage. Who could forget Australia’s Next Top Model host Sarah Murdoch mistakenly announcing the wrong name during the 2010 season finale. Awkward! This mistake led to Kelsey (the first winner announced, though not actual winner) receiving an overseas trip and her own $25,000 cash prize.

(Skip to 1:00)

4. Miss Teen USA

The many pageants of America, the gift that keeps on giving. Let’s revisit the 2007 Miss Teen USA pageant, when the South Carolina contestant answered the question “recent polls show one fifth of Americans can’t locate The US on a world map, why do you think this is?”

Where to start, so many gems… US Americans are unable to do so because, well some people just don’t have maps for one. Somehow South Africa and Iraq get a mention, though it’s not clear why. Oh no wait, it’s because US Americans should help with their education. Even though they can’t find their own country on a map.

Don’t skip any of it, watch the whole 0.48 seconds. And feel better about yourself.

5. Karl Stefanovic hosts Today drunk (allegedly)

And now returning to our own backyard. Let’s revisit the Today Show the morning after the 2009 Logies, when host Karl Stefanovic, showed up to work still drunk from the night before. And look, many have probably been there before, just not on live TV.

There are a number of these videos on YouTube, I’ll just share the first one, but I’m not sure what is funnier, Karl’s random gems of input or his co-hosts reactions and their efforts to try and keep the show going.

(Skip to 4:02 to watch Karl slur a little on a “big word” or to 4:25 to watch Stevie the weatherman struggling himself and Karl sympathising)

6. Merlin’s Eviction Protest

In 2004, Big Brother housemate and evictee Merlin Luck, used his eviction segment to tape his mouth in mute protest, with a sign that said “Free Th(e) Refugees” referencing the mandatory-detention issue of the time.

This act no doubt sent producers into a spin and left host Gretel Killeen trying to fill time on air with a housemate that wouldn’t speak. It also left Big Brother a little embarrassed, given that Merlin managed to sneak in (and out) his protest props undetected.

(Skip to 0:45)

For advertisers and agencies these moments can be the source of great tactical messages, or create unwanted association with an event that they never would have anticipated. Although the risks associated with live programming are the same as with a number of other media channels, not just TV.

And whilst blame is not generally placed on the brands advertising around these moments, consumers can often put pressure on brands that remain in association with networks or programs afterwards. It is in a brand’s reaction to these moments that they can win or lose audience favour. It is the reaction that is the opportunity, and that is very dependent on each specific moment or blunder, whether involving scandal, nudity, political messaging or just a silly mistake.

Whether positive or negative, it is clear in all these instances the speed and scale moments like these are amplified. It’s not just the live TV audiences that are exposed, but the unlimited scale of the online audience. Thank you internet for giving us the ability to relive these eventful and hilarious moments. Though no doubt for those involved it’s something they just want to forget.

Latest News

Clemenger BBDO’s ‘Exceptions To The Rule’ Recruitment Program Now Open
  • Advertising

Clemenger BBDO’s ‘Exceptions To The Rule’ Recruitment Program Now Open

The annual search for Australia’s best and brightest talent has launched today through Clemenger BBDO’s ‘Exceptions to the Rule’ program, with applications open for placements across Clemenger BBDO Melbourne and Sydney. ‘Exceptions to the Rule’ is a commitment to the agency’s belief that the future leaders of the creative industry aren’t solely coming through traditional […]

The Six Types Of Meetings People Despise
  • Media

The Six Types Of Meetings People Despise

Donna McGeorge (pictured below) is a speaker, author and mentor who helps people make their work work. She is also author of The 25-Minute Meeting: Half the Time, Double the Impact. In this guest post, McGeorge says most of us despise the office meeting and here’s the six worst types… I once heard a very senior leader […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Mango Melbourne Announces Three New PR & Event Hires
  • Marketing

Mango Melbourne Announces Three New PR & Event Hires

Mango Melbourne, part of the DDB Group, has welcomed three new team members following recent business growth. Carol Laws (right in photo), Janette Henstridge (left) and Maddie Poulson (middle) bring with them experience across PR and events, in sectors including consumer, retail, telecommunications and fashion. An account director with previous roles at Kate & Co […]

Why Curiosity Matters In Leadership
  • Opinion

Why Curiosity Matters In Leadership

Corrine Armour (pictured below) is a leadership expert who helps leaders and organisations develop fearless leadership and deliver transformational results. Armour is also the author of Leaders Who Ask: Building Fearless Cultures by telling less and asking more. In this guest post, she asks are you a genuinely curious leader or just a judgemental one? Curiosity creates […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Businesswoman hand connecting jigsaw puzzle, Business solutions, success and strategy concept
  • Media

Tealium Partners With The Lumery

Tealium, the leader in real-time customer data orchestration solutions, and The Lumery, a full-service customer experience agency, have partnered to bring to life the vision of a full MarTech ecosystem for Vocus Communications. Vocus recognised a huge opportunity for growth through the digitisation of their consumer brands. As such, Vocus has begun the process of […]

McCann Names New MD For Melbourne
  • Advertising

McCann Names New MD For Melbourne

McCann's new Melbourne MD is promising sweeping changes. Well, at the very least delicate carpet shampoo changes.