Former Channel Nine star Kerri-Anne Kennerley has called out a “boy’s club” culture at the network that protected the likes of Don Burke, who has been accused of being a serial harasser and abuser of women.
Kennerley’s revelations come after a string of women have come forward to allege abuse at the hands of Burke when he was one of Nine’s stars in the 90s and early 2000s. Read more about that here.
The problem has become such a problematic one for Nine that its CEO, Hugh Marks, yesterday sent a company-wide email to staff (sent to B&T and published in full at the bottom of this article) that said network management would take steps to ensure former employees “perhaps with old grievances” are supported, while counselling and a phone line would be created to allow staff to report bad behaviour.
“As much as we might like to, sometimes we, unfortunately, cannot rewrite history,” Marks said in the email.
Yesterday, Kennerley – who is promoting her new autobiography – told Triple M Adelaide’s Roo and Ditts show that she knew Burke well during her time with Nine and he was part of a “boy’s club” culture at the network.
“There wasn’t any question his (Burke’s) language was appalling. I’m not a shrinking violet … but to me he always was just that little bit worse,” Kennerly revealed.
“It was the language school of Kerry Packer and it went downhill from that. All of his executives spoke the same way and they were all colourful. But Don, sometimes, was just a little bit more.
“A lot of us knew but in those days there were a lot of men who did push the envelope. Boys will be boys. But many of us in that era drew a line in the sand and said: ‘Watch my lips. Do that again and I will hit you!’
“The simple answer was, that was an era. It was all going on for young and old. There are a whole bunch of people involved, but that said, it was part of an era.
“I’m not trying to justify it,” Kennerley said. “It has to be dragged out now because no young woman should ever have to put up with that.”
The problem for Nine is that two former CEOs of the business, David Leckie and Sam Chisolm, and even Kerry Packer himself, were aware of Burke’s predatory behaviour but did nothing to stop it. There have been reports that staff that fell victim to Burke’s abuse could sue the network for failing to provide a safe workplace.
Yesterday, Nine announced the establishment a phone line to provide an independent counselling service (to staff past and present) to report instances of past behaviour they would like addressed.
Here is Hugh Marks ’email to staff in full:
Verizon Media’s talent program has come to an end for the third year, closing with a hybrid pitch-off event for Musicians Making A Difference (MMAD). The Verizon Media Academy class of 2021, made up of 44 emerging leaders from across Australia and New Zealand media, advertising and marketing industry, were given just one hour to […]
Social purpose organisation UnLtd’s Big Games competition has raised a combined $85,000 for children and young people at risk. Running over five weeks, the competition involved 32 teams from across the advertising, marketing and media industries battling it out virtually for a chance to qualify for the Rocket League final. The tournament culminated in a […]
Stan has announced that the Stan Original Film Transfusion commenced filming in Sydney earlier this week and will premiere on Stan in 2022. Transfusion is a taut, muscular thriller starring Sam Worthington (Avatar) as Ryan Logan, a former Special Forces operative, who is battling to cope with life after the loss of his wife and is thrust […]
According to a decade of data collected by iStock, Australian brands turned to imagery depicting outdated gender stereotypes during the pandemic. Tracking the keyword ‘women’, iStock by Getty Images found that in 2020, ANZ brands and businesses reverted to gender stereotypes. Images of mothers home-schooling were used at almost twice the rate of images of […]
Schwartz Media is congratulating Maddison Connaughton on her three years as editor of The Saturday Paper. Connaughton has decided to finish up her editorship this month. “It’s been an honour to edit the paper,” Connaughton said. “The Saturday Paper is one of the brightest voices in Australian media and I have been happy to see […]
Research from EdBbirdie using Spotify data has identified the most popular songs to study to. After analysing thousands of studying and homework playlists on Spotify, American singer Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘drivers license’ came out as top song to study to. It featured on 48 study playlists, while other top songs included ‘Ophelia’ by The Lumineers, ‘Falling’ […]
Dayna Stewart is the Business Director – Digital Marketing, Media & Creative Services at The Nudge Group. Here, she discusses the challenges that come with building a successful marketing team when working remotely. Before COVID-19 changed the way businesses work, most marketing teams spent their days together in a meeting room collaborating on the next […]
The line-up for the 2021 iHeartRadio Music Festival has been announced as the legendary event returns live in Las Vegas in September. This year, the epic two-day lineup for the iHeartRadio Music Festival main stage will feature performances by Billie Eilish, Cheap Trick, Coldplay, Dua Lipa, Florida Georgia Line, Journey, Khalid, Lil Baby, Maroon 5, Nelly, […]
Shop! ANZ is calling on shopper and retail marketing professionals from all retail related disciplines to participate in the first ANZ Shopper and Retail Marketing Industry Survey in four years. This important research provides a guide of where the retail marketing industry in Australia and New Zealand has come from and what is anticipated to […]