Awkward moment former Ten star calls out the network on The Project

Yumi Stynes has called out Channel 10 for failing to get her even “one paid job” following a past controversy while appearing on The Project.

The former TV host appeared on the network’s evening panel show on Friday to discuss her new children’s book, Welcome to Sex: Your no-silly-questions guide to sexuality, pleasure and figuring it out, which is aimed at helping parents educate their 12 to 15-year-old children.

But it’s received plenty of backlash following its release, with parents concerned it could attract even younger readers, exposing them to age-inappropriate content.

Stynes is no stranger to controversy – in 2012, she was heavily criticised after making fun of then-war hero Ben Roberts-Smith’s intellect while hosting Ten’s now-defunct panel show The Circle.

(Roberts-Smith has since been found to have “committed several war crimes” in a recent defamation lawsuit against The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and The Canberra Times.)

Addressing the past controversy while discussing her new book on The Project, Stynes took a thinly-veiled dig at the very network she was appearing on.

“Some of those real world consequences include the fact I’m not on television any more,” she said pointedly.”

“Since that controversy around a comment I made around Ben Roberts-Smith, Channel 10 hasn’t given me one paid job aside some appearance on some show one time.

“So real-world consequences? Yes. People threatening my life? Yes.

“There was a guy in the supermarket today. I was buying strawberries for my kids and I kept checking over my shoulder wondering if he was going to smack me over the back of the head – which is entirely possible.”

During The Circle segment in 2012, which featured an image of the war veteran shirtless by a pool, Stynes had joked: “Hello! Look at that physique! He’s going to dive down to the bottom of the pool and see if his brain is there.”

Following intense backlash, she issued an apology shortly afterwards, insisting she
didn’t mean to offend anybody” and had “total respect for people that work in the defence forces.”

In 2019, Stynes also appeared on Studio 10 as a guest panellist but was not invited back after calling host Kerri-Anne Kennerley “racist” during an Australia Day debate.

Meanwhile, addressing the controversy over her new book on Friday, Stynes said she supported Big W’s decision to remove it from shelves in-store amid reports staff were being targeted by outraged parents.

“No retail worker deserves to be in danger just for showing up and doing their minimum wage job, to be honest,” she said.

“If that’s what it took to keep retail workers safe then I supported it.”

The book is still available online via the Big W website.

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