The Today Show has dumped far-right politician, Pauline Hanson from its commentary line-up after she used the program to make derogatory racist remarks about Melbourne residents effected by the COVID-19 lockdown.
In a segment on the breakfast program this morning, Hanson referred to residents of high-rise estates as “drug addicts” and stated they should have learnt English before being allowed to emigrate to Australia.
The bizarre comments came after Today co-host Ally Langdon posed the possibility that some tower residents hadn’t had a proper meal since Saturday.
“Ah come on Ally, we’ve seen food being delivered there,”
“The fact is a lot of them are drug addicts as well, they are getting their medication, they are alcoholics so they’re being looked after in that way.
“They are actually getting paid extra money. Why are they getting paid extra money? For what? They are not leaving the premises.”
“A lot of these people are from non-English speaking backgrounds, probably English is their second language who haven’t adhered to the rules of social distancing. They all used a lot of the same laundry,” she said.
The comments sparked immediate outrage from viewers of the program, and threats of an advertising boycott.
Nine’s Director of News and Current Affairs, Darren Wick was quick to respond to the offensive comments telling Hanson she would no longer be welcome on Today.
“The Today Show has advised Pauline Hanson that she will no longer be appearing on our programme as a regular contributor.
“We don’t shy away from diverse opinions and robust debate on the Today Show. But this morning’s accusations from Pauline Hanson were ill-informed and divisive.
At a time of uncertainty in this national and global health crisis, Australians have to be united and supportive of one another. We need to get through this together.”
Hanson moved to Today in 2019 after falling out with the rival Sunrise program after she made controversial comments in the aftermath of the Christchurch massacre.
The move to dump Hanson from the breakfast program comes after Nine recently dumped controversial host Sam Newman after comments he made regarding George Floyd led to an advertiser boycott.
Alan Jones also opted to depart the Nine owned radio station 2GB for ‘medical reasons’ earlier this year. Comments made by Jones on the radio program in the past 12 months had caused a number of advertisers to withdraw spending from the radio group. Jones has since moved to sign an exclusive deal with Sky News.