There are many things you can call a Victoria Cross winner…hero, brave, outstanding etc, but you can’t call him a dud root, as the hosts and panel of an Aussie TV show have found out:
The co-host of Channel Ten programÂ The CircleÂ has publicly apologised for making a sexist and disrespectful comment about Victoria Cross winner Ben Roberts-Smith, saying she had never met the Australian war hero and ââfelt sickââ at the angry backlash she had received after branding him brainless.
Yumi Stynes admitted she did not know much about Corporal Roberts-Smith when she commented on a photograph of the shirtless war hero in a swimming pool yesterday, saying: ââHeâs going to dive down to the bottom of the pool to see if his brain is thereââ.
Stynesâ guest co-host and veteran journalist George Negus had then quipped: “Iâm sure heâs a really good guy, nothing about poor old Ben. But that sort of bloke, and what if theyâre not up to it in the sack?”
Another host questioned whether Negus was suggesting “that he could be a dud root?”, to laughter from the audience.
But their flippant treatment of Corporal Roberts-Smith – who single-handedly stormed an enemy machine gun position in Afghanistan in 2010 – angered relatives of decorated war veterans as well as viewers, who flooded the television showâs Facebook page with furious comments.
The showâs treatment of Corporal Roberts-Smith also came under fire after the soldier revealed in a candid interview on Channel SevenâsÂ Sunday NightÂ that he and his wife had conceived their twin daughters through IVF treatment.