Clementine Ford has unloaded on Sky News presenter Chris Smith over his drunken behaviour towards female colleagues at the network’s party and says the broadcaster should have been sacked years ago.
The outspoken author claimed a double standard exists that supports men when they sexually harass women but limits the careers of women who complain about being harassed.
Ms Ford shared her comments on Facebook before Smith was sacked by 2GB and Sky News Australia on Tuesday over his vulgar behaviour.
Smith made lewd comments which brought a female colleague to tears at the Sky News shindig, with one co-worker striking him due to his offensive conduct.
The 60-year-old approached a woman and creepily commented about one of her Instagram photos from a holiday, saying she ‘had a lot of side boob going on’.
Feminist author Clementine Ford claimed female victims tend to be seen ‘troublemakers’ and get sacked or ‘frozen out’ of jobs while male abusers get ‘protected’
Ms Ford predicted predicted disgraced broadcaster Chris Smith would be sacked, but would be get a payout and a behind-the-scenes apology from his employers
Ms Ford said female victims tend to be seen as ‘troublemakers’ and get sacked or ‘frozen out’ of jobs while male abusers get ‘protected’.
‘How many women and POC have lost their jobs for simply sharing an opinion the establishment didn’t like?’ Ms Ford wrote.
‘How many women have left jobs after being sexually harassed?
‘How many women have been frozen out of jobs because they weren’t taken seriously, or were seen to be troublemakers?
‘And yet Chris Smith, a veteran “journalist” with platforms in both print, radio and TV media, has been the subject of not one, not two, but three complaints of sexual harassment and groping, the first one occurring in the late 1990s.’
In 2009, Smith was suspended by the Macquarie Radio Network for allegedly exposing himself to several women at 2GB’s party, attempting to kiss a female colleague and allegedly groping weather presenter Magdalena Roze.
In 1998 he was fired from his role as chief of staff at A Current Affair for allegedly exposing himself to four women at a Nine farewell party.
Rumours of inappropriate behaviour by Smith go back even further, with a comment made by a retired telecommunications consultant under Ford’s post: ‘I recall Smith as a rookie radio announcer at 2VM in Moree, he hasn’t changed.’
Ms Ford wrote that Smith’s behaviour wasn’t seen as ‘sufficiently dangerous’ to get him sacked, and instead, he was ‘protected against consequences while his women colleagues have been sent a clear message that they don’t matter’.
In 2009, Smith was suspended for exposing himself to several women at 2GB’s party, attempting to kiss a female colleague and allegedly groping weather presenter Magdalena Roze (pictured)
Ms Ford used the issue to remind her followers that Smith had suggested on air that she lose her job over a tweet in which she called Scott Morrison’ f***head’.
She then accused Smith of hypocrisy, saying: ‘You’ll note that Sky pundits’ usual calls for “free speech” do not extend to the criticism of government ministers. Then it’s “Disgusting stuff. A sackable offence.’
She said ‘Drunkenly groping women? Apparently fine in Smith’s world.’
She predicted he would be sacked, but would be given a payout and a behind-the-scenes apology from his employers.
‘My guess is he will be [sacked], but will receive an enormous payout and a “we’re sorry mate, it’s just the bloody culture at the moment”.’
In a statement released on Monday afternoon, Smith apologised for his behaviour and announced he had checked himself into a mental health facility.
‘I am beyond gutted and devastated to know I have upset my colleagues after our Christmas party,’ Smith said.
Veteran broadcaster Chris Smith (pictured) has lost his jobs at Sky News and 2GB. He claimed he couldn’t recall the incidents that led to his downfall blaming his behaviour on polar disorder and alcohol addiction
‘I am beyond gutted and devastated to know I have upset my colleagues after our Christmas party,’ Smith (pictured above at a previous function) said on Monday afternoon
‘I apologise profusely to the women I upset. That’s not the man I am at work, ever, as they will all attest. They have been so supportive to me and do not deserve such drunken treatment.’
Smith blamed the events on bipolar disorder and alcohol addiction, saying ‘I have a recurring problem with alcohol… it sends me manic’.
He had joined colleagues at Sky News’s end of year celebrations at Ivy Sunroom in Sydney’s central business district which began about about 12pm on Saturday.
When that formal event concluded in the afternoon, a group including Smith moved nearby to Establishment.
‘He’s also been to three work-related function in three days, all with alcohol involved, despite previously saying he’s got a problem with grog. It’s unbelievable.’
Smith reportedly left Establishment about 7.30pm.
Chris Smith has apologised for his drunken behaviour towards female colleagues at the Sky News Christmas party and revealed he has checked himself into a mental health facility. Smith is pictured with wife Susie Burrell, who left the family home on Sunday
Prior to the Saturday’s event, Sky’s general manager of HR Kath Butler sent out a memo reminding Sky News colleagues to behave responsibly at the function.
‘This is a work event so please be respectful of others as you do when in the office,’ the memo stated.
Since Smith’s behaviour at Establishment became public knowledge several high-profile Sky figures have come out to attack him.
Rita Panahi said Smith should never work for the network again while Laura Jayes posted ‘Good riddance’ on Instagram with a link to Andrew Bolt’s scathing assessment.
Bolt called for the suspended broadcaster to be sacked during a segment lasting more than three minutes on his Sky program on Monday night.
Although Ray Hadley is on leave from 2GB, he called into the station to eviscerate Smith on alleging Smith a history of ‘monstering young women’
‘Every organisation has people who behave badly,’ Bolt told viewers.
‘We’re judged not by the fact that we have one as well, you’re judged by how you react to what they do. And I say to Chris, good luck, but goodbye.’
Smith’s 2GB colleague Ray Hadley, who is on holidays, went hardest when he called the station to speak with Mark Levy, his summer replacement.
‘I don’t think [Smith] should ever return to a network,’ Hadley said.
‘I’d be very surprised if he ever returns to anywhere ever again, and I’d say the radio and the TV industry won’t be poorer for him leaving it.
‘It’ll be much better for him leaving it. So good riddance to bad rubbish.’
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