Gruen host and comedian Wil Anderson has been accused of chucking a “hissy fit” at a recording of the advertising show at the ABC studios on Tuesday.
According to guests in the audience, Anderson called the audience “the worst [he’s] ever had”.
Anderson has since said he simply told the audience to laugh at his jokes and be more engaging.
During one particular part of the show, where the hosts analysed the recent Facebook/Cambridge Analytica data breach, Anderson blamed the audience for being too quiet, meaning the segment had taken more than 40 minutes to film.
Jokingly scolding the audience, Anderson said, “That took 40 f***ing minutes to film. I don’t want to be out of line but you guys are the worst audience I’ve ever had”.
In response, one audience member heckled “this topic is boring”, which Anderson replied with “Why don’t you f*** off then”.
While a degree audience taunting is part of the show, guests said Anderson appeared overly angry at the studio audience throughout the recording.
One guest has since said of Anderson’s behaviour, “It was a complete dummy spit. To be honest he was a bit of a brat.”
Meanwhile, speaking to Triple M the following day Anderson said they were a “terrible audience … just sitting back in their seats”.
“We were doing Gruen last night and that audience was just a terrible audience,” he said.
“Usually we have a fantastic audience and it wasn’t that they were bad people, but they were just sitting back in seats not giving you the energy that you need so you try to rev them up. I literally just told them they weren’t doing a good job.”
ABC has also made comment, calling Anderson’s behaviour “nothing untoward”, adding it was normal for him to have “interplay” with the audience.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, a spokesperson said, “There was nothing unusual or untoward about last night’s live recording of Gruen.”
“Wil interplays with the live audience on a regular basis to ensure high energy in the room and the audience feel engaged and entertained. Last night’s audience took this interplay with the good humour with which it was intended and Wil thanked them for their enthusiasm at the end of the recording.”
However, guests at the recording argue there was no playfulness whatsoever, and when the recording finished, Anderson stormed off the set.
“Storming off at the end made him seem like a real pr***.”
The Gruen Transfer is one of the ABC’s highest-rated programs and has just commenced its tenth season.
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