If you ever want to know how a TV star is viewed behind the scenes, pay close attention to what happens when they’re going through a crisis.
Whichever way you look at it, it’s a tough time to be Lisa Wilkinson right now.
Within 24 hours she went from riding high on a Logies win to facing possible jail time.
The speech she gave after winning the Silver Logie for Most Outstanding News Coverage Or Public Affairs Report has not only destroyed her credibility, it has delayed the very trial that was a result of her report.
But while there are many news articles focused on the fallout of that speech, one thing I’ve noticed is the lack of public support for someone who is usually a media darling.
In fact, some of those who have worked with her have taken the extraordinary step of coming out publicly to criticise Wilkinson over her choice to ignore advice from the DPP and others have brought up past issues that have put noses out of joint.
In the world of TV people have long memories and hold grudges.
The first salvo came from 10’s former Sydney weatherman Tim Bailey. In a now-deleted post the likeable larrikin said:
Hey Lisa, pull ya head in,’
I know this might be difficult, because it is a very big head. But please try.’
That was in response to her speech, but things got really interesting when he added the hashtag #carparkthief.
It’s a reference many would not understand, but it’s one that speaks volumes.
In 2020 Woman’s Day published a story claiming Wilkinson had sparked a bitter war with Sandra Sully by continuously parking in her space. Despite multiple complaints to security Wilkinson is alleged to have continued the practice.
TV Blackbox has independently verified these reports and can reveal many within 10 were left confused as to why Wilkinson was ‘targeting’ Sully, who is loved by all inside the Pyrmont headquarters.
Wilkinson’s actions towards Sully were seen by some as tantamount to bullying.
One person who has not forgotten (or forgiven) is Sully’s former workmate Tim Bailey. After being made redundant by 10 Bailey has nothing to fear by speaking up and he is very loyal to the newsreader he stood beside for decades.
The inclusion of the #carparkthief hashtag speaks volumes.
Another former colleague has also spoken up against Wilkinson. Neil Breen was the Executive Producer of the TODAY show during part of Lisa’s time on the show.
Yesterday Breen blasted his former colleague on his 4BC Breakfast show in Brisbane, saying her actions were ‘shameful’.
His stance is very unusual considering many in the media will just keep quiet rather than speak out.
As first reported in the Daily Mail, Breen didn’t hold back during an editorial on Monday morning:
‘As a journalist of three-and-a-half decades, I don’t want a judge saying that about me. And that’s what the judge has said about Lisa Wilkinson and her unfettered behaviour,’ he said.
‘It’s disgraceful, and I’m ashamed of our profession that this has occurred.
‘To make it worse, Lisa Wilkinson is expected to be a witness in the case … what a shameful episode for the profession that I love.’
As I said at the beginning, if you ever want to know how a TV star is viewed behind the scenes all you have to do is look at what people in the industry say during a crisis. That will tell you everything you need to know.