Threats, Exiting Advertisers And Channel Ten Support
Channel 10 has publicly declared its support for the beleaguered co-host of The Circle, Yumi Stynes. Yumi has come under constant public criticism after she, guest presenter George Negus and a third unconfirmed presenter made seemingly inappropriate comments regarding Victoria Cross recipient and former SAS soldier, Ben Roberts-Smith.
"Yumi remains a valued member of The Circle team and we are all focused on moving forward," said a spokesperson for Channel 10, which airs the show.
Yumi in particular has received a constant stream of criticism, including through Facebook and Twitter. There are also reports the presenter's Wikipedia page was altered.
Many comments have asked for both hosts to either quit or be fired, while others have included physical threats including -- according to the Herald Sun -- comments involving Yumi Stynes' children.
The TV station has removed several comments and said: "We are concerned about the extreme nature of some of those comments and are monitoring them very closely."
"We are removing the most offensive comments from The Circle sites."
"We will keep on monitoring the situation very closely, in terms of the online comments and Yumi's personal situation."
In the wake of the event, several sponsors have left the show, including Mirvac Hotels & Resorts, Swisse Vitamins, coffee company Jamaica Blue, garden fittings company Hoselink and Big 4 Holiday Parks.
It all began last week with a few ill-considered words. While discussing a photograph of Ben at the bottom of a pool, Yumi remarked: "He's going to dive down to the bottom of the pool to see if his brain is there."
Veteran journalist and guest presenter George Negus then commented: "I'm sure he's a really good guy, nothing about poor old Ben. But that sort of bloke, and what if they're not up to it in the sack?"
Another presenter, who was off-screen, then asked Negus whether he was saying Ben "... could be a dud root."
Yumi, George and The Ciricle have all since apologised, and Ben has publicly accepted these apologies.
Image courtesy of Robert Wallace/ WENN.com