Deb Knight has been named as Karl Stefanovic’s replacement on the TODAY show.
QUEUE THE OUTRAGE!
It’s coming in from all corners.
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First, there was outrage that the show will be boring without a male in the main chair. “I’ll never watch the Today show again,” tweeted Susan. “How boring is watching a female only show[?]”
Then, there was outrage about the reporting of the announcement. In a newspaper article, the respective ages of Georgie Gardner and Deb Knight was included, but the ages of their male counterparts were not.
“Why oh why oh why, in the reporting of the new team, do the ages of the women need to be pointed out, while the ages of the men are clearly regarded as irrelevant?” asked Lisa Wilkinson.
“Similarly, Deb being a mum-of-three is considered significant, but Tony being a dad isn’t? I don’t understand. And we obviously have a long way to go when it comes to #genderequity.”
And lastly, there was outrage about the lack of diversity. Skim the comments across social media and you’ll find countless conversations about the fact that Deb and Georgie are both thin and blonde and white.
Am I the only one thinking… “meh”?
Their ages weren’t included in the initial press release, so the journalist who wrote the offending story must have felt it was important to include.
Partly, it would have been to establish credibility – Georgie and Deb have been in the industry for almost three decades, after all – but if this were all it was about, then the ages of the men would have been reported, too.
That said, the show’s target demographic are women aged 30-50, and these co-hosts are smack bang in the middle of this. After the chaos of Karl, the TODAY show is desperate to let their audience know that they are relatable and reliable.
I think we may be over-reacting to all of this, which is clouding over the biggest, most important aspect of this announcement: two qualified, interesting, experienced television reporters who happen to be female and who happen to be aged in their mid to late 40s, have secured some of the top jobs in television.
Instead of picking it to pieces, let’s celebrate their success!