Seven’s new stoush with reality contestant
A First Dates Australia contestant has hit out at Channel 7 for the way it dealt with relentless bullying she received after her episode went to air, with the reality TV first-timer believed to be lawyering up.
Year 5 teacher Sarah Pettersen featured on the program earlier this year and was paired up with PE teacher Adam Parker.
Pettersen, who studied a bachelor of education at university before being accepted into the National Exceptional Teachers for Disadvantaged Schools program, considers herself to be "a smart woman" and went on the show for the experience, however "heavy editing" and the desire to "make entertaining TV" resulted in her being painted as a blonde bimbo.
"I was mortified by it all," Pettersen told Sunday Confidential.
"I had a really great experience on the day, but the way it came out … I was in shock. Obviously everyone knows it's reality TV and things get edited, but I thought I carried myself quite well and so it would all be fine."
Pettersen believes the edit she was given made her look "dumb" and "illiterate".
"I don't mind people making fun of my personality but they made me look so dumb and I am a teacher," Pettersen said.
"They chopped my sentences, so I didn't even make sense. I was portrayed to be a slow blonde. It just didn't sound like me and I felt duped.
"I feel like I was used to get an audience reaction."
What followed were comments on social media from viewers who criticised her appearance and her IQ.
Channel 7 reportedly swiftly deleted the comments and a social media clip in which she featured after Pettersen voiced her concerns.
Pettersen said one of the most hurtful comments was from a viewer who wrote: "Imagine watching this knowing you send your kids to her for their education. I think I will homeschool for life."
Another said: "I think she got her teaching degree from the back of a cereal box, those poor kids in her class, that's why this generation has no hope, because she is a dumb blonde."
Pettersen's grievance comes just months after a former House Rules contestant won a landmark compensation case against Channel 7 for psychological injury suffered while filming the show.
Seven yesterday confirmed clips of Pettersen were taken down from First Dates Australia social sites earlier this month, but would not comment on the legal front.
"I felt really let down by the network. There was no one monitoring any of the comments," she said.
"My message to Channel 7 is to think about how important mental health is. Yes, it is a show for entertainment, but move away from the easy stereotypes and look after the people you feature on the show once the cameras stop.
"What made this whole thing OK was that my work was so supportive. My assistant principal reached out to me to check I was OK."
While she remained coy about what action she was taking, Pettersen didn't rule out legal action.
"I had someone reach out to me and they made me aware there was a law brought in last year in the NSW Supreme Court and basically that holds the networks accountable for their social media pages and the comments," she said.
DOWNEY'S READY TO GET PERSONAL
He's been a musician, dabbled in the hospitality industry and is now considered one of our most popular and acclaimed artists, so it is no surprise Sydney man about town Daimon Downey has managed to quickly adapt to challenges imposed by the pandemic restrictions. The former Sneaky Sound System frontman, who has been painting for a decade, had grand plans to open his solo show, Half Masked, last month to showcase his new portraits and abstract prints.
However, when coronavirus forced the closure of art spaces around the world, he pivoted his exhibition and has instead turned his Bondi Beach studio into an intimate gallery where he will host small weekly "legal" dinners with his celebrity friends to preview the work he would have shown at his official exhibition.
He is also set to host live steaming previews.
"Every Thursday I am holding a dinner party in the studio so we can release some of the paintings each week," the popular creative said.
"People are saying to me 'my walls are so boring' now they are spending all this time at home and have become house proud, so I have a bunch of commissions coming through.
"I will just have to wait and see how many people I can have at the dinner party each week as it keeps changing."
The newly-engaged multi-tasker said while he has managed to weather the storm by selling his work via social media and online, many industries would unfortunately take a while to bounce back.
"Some will struggle," he said. "It comes down to consumer confidence.
"Even if they do open everything up back to normal it will take a lot for people to be comfortable enough to go to a festival, but I think there is a real market in the music industry to have really intimate shows but have more of them."
"We are pretty resilient so it will bounce back, but it will take a long time to recover."
Downey's real life exhibition has now been locked in for October in Paddington.
CELESTE AND POH'S AD GETS THE COLD SHOULDER
MastercheF favourite Poh Ling Yeow and comedian Celeste Barber have been caught up in a controversy over dangerous behaviour involving a fridge in an advertisement that has fallen foul of Australia's advertising watchdog.
Yeow and Barber appear in an ad for Audible, Amazon's audiobooks brand, which has been pulled from TV following an investigation by the Ad Standards Community Panel.
In the ad Yeow is in her kitchen listening to the Audible app while cooking.
She opens the fridge to find Barber waiting. After a brief conversation, Yeow closes the door, seemingly leaving Barber in the fridge.
Angry viewers complained that Yeow shutting Barber in the fridge was dangerous and set a bad example for children.
"This is a dangerous message, as children have died from hiding in fridges, they are a death trap," one wrote.
Another wrote: "Bad example can result in mortality of little children playing this trick on each other, particularly at the moment while many are home and bored during home stay for COVID-19."
The panel found the ad was in breach of Section 2.6 of the Australian Association of National Advertisers code of ethics, which states that: "Advertising or Marketing Communications shall not depict material contrary to Prevailing Community Standards on health and safety."
Audible apologised for concerns caused by the ad and has pulled it from screens.
"We have subsequently made the decision to modify this advertisement to remove the scene in question, and will look to run updated creative moving forward," it said.
A-LISTERS' TEARS FOR FASHION LEGEND
One of the Australian fashion industry's most respected artist managers, Debbie Walters, died suddenly earlier this month, with heavyweights including models Robyn Lawley and Victoria Lee and designer Jodhi Meares all paying their respects.
Sunday Confidential understands the 56-year-old mother-of-two went to hospital with stomach pains two weeks ago, was diagnosed that night with stomach cancer and died just two days later after two bouts of radiation therapy.
Due to coronavirus rules, Walters, who is mother to two sons and whose family are based in the UK, died alone, with close friends devastated at not being able to hold a funeral for the much-loved mother and colleague.
The fashion industry is shattered by the loss of Walters, who many called one of the most dedicated, loving and profound women they had ever met.
Walters was much loved in the industry and had worked with just about every Australian A-lister, including Elle MacPherson, Isla Fisher, Cody Simpson, Jessica Gomes and Asher Keddie.
All left messages on Instagram sharing fond memories of Walters.
"Debbie would sit with you in conversation about life, the universe and everything in between," Meares wrote.
"Deb was the kind of woman that made everyone she touched better, more real.
"I know I'm a better person for knowing Debbie. My thoughts and prayers are with your beautiful family Deb. Safe and peaceful journey home. Your beautiful nature will never be forgotten. We will miss you endlessly and forever be touched by your wonderfulness."
MAG HAS A CAPTION CATASTROPHE
They are known for getting it wrong, but even by Woman's Day's standards, this is poor form.
The gossip mag this week featured a happy snap captioned "Sunrise's Edwina Bartholomew rolled around on the grass with adorable daughter Molly for her first Mother's Day."
Only problem was the photograph was of fellow television personality Emma Freedman playing with her laughing son William.
Bartholomew called the magazine on its error, taking to social media to write: "Dear @womensdaymag, This is @Emmafreedman and her gorgeous SON, William.
"I am taking this as a compliment.
"Will is considering his next steps (literally)."
Originally published as Seven's new stoush with reality contestant