The Seven Network has denied sexism played a role in the departure of one its former big name celebrities.
Melissa Doyle this week announced her contract with the network had not been renewed, prompting industry insiders to claim that the move was a result of the longstanding double standard applied to female on-air personalities by Australian TV executives.
“If Melissa was a bloke she’d still have a job. It’s that simple,” one Seven Network source told me.
“Yet because she is deemed ‘too old’ by TV industry standards, or some wanker high up in the network thinks she’s ‘lost her looks’, she’s unceremoniously cut from the Seven stable,” the source confided on condition of anonymity.
“Melissa put in the hard yards for Seven over 25 years and look how she’s been repaid. She was there in the early days of Sunrise (main picture) when it was struggling against the Today show on Nine.
“Yet she was dumped in 2013 in favour of a younger Samantha Armytage when the show’s rating took a dive, even though Seven didn’t touch David Koch who carried on regardless. It’s just pure sexism at its worst.
“Seven, like Nine, runs a blokey culture that never respects women for who they are and always overlooks their talents in favour of promoting and protecting less talented male ‘stars’.
“Once an — inevitably male — network heavy, and I mean that literally, thinks a woman no longer has the sex appeal to win viewers, she’s cut lose. But the ugly blokes get to stay on screen,” the source said.
But Seven Network spokesperson, Tess Tosterone, denied the existence of a blokey culture at the network.
“Maaaaaate, that’s bullshit,” she said. “I’d bet my left nut that sexism had fuck all to do with it.”
Long-time rival and star of the Today breakfast show on Nine, Karl Stefanovic, also denied sexism ruled decisions on who fronted Australian TV programs.
“This idea that women get sacked when they lose their looks while men carry on is just not true,” Stefanovic (pictured) said.