Look at this image. And tell us what the first thing is that comes to your mind:
This is a promotional image for The Matt and Jo Show – a morning radio program on FoxFM in Melbourne that is hosted by Matt Tilley and Jo Stanley (both pictured). The pair have hosted the show together for the past 10 years and have a huge supporter base throughout the city.
And according to comedian and social commentator Catherine Deveny, the image is in seriously poor taste. When Catherine saw the image last night, she tweeted her concern about it. Here’s what she had to say:
By showing a full length shot of Jo, in a short and tight dress but focusing on a close up head shot of Matt, Catherine was clearly concerned that the image sent a sexist message. She asked:
In response to Catherine’s comments, Matt and Jo spoke on air about the industry they work in – one that is notorious for having a misogynistic culture that promote men into decision making roles and treats women poorly.
We thought their conversation was worth sharing. Here’s what Matt and Jo said:
Matt Tilley: You’re out of line, lady. And I will say this. If everything about commercial radio is so yuck, then how come some years ago, Catherine Deveny, you kept faxing me scripts, desperate to get on this show?
Jo Stanley: I actually find it kind of funny, I’ve been in radio so long that I’m used to certain people assuming that it is a very sexist industry – and for many women it has been that case, but for myself, I have only ever had incredible support on this show and here at Fox FM, and so I’ve just said ‘look you know what, I don’t define myself by a photo, I define myself by what I say’…
Matt Tilley: But I always think, if you’re going to get on radio and have a shot at people and take the mickey and have fun, then you can’t get prissy when people do it to you, and so I’ve always tried to live by that mantra. But this is something that does irk me, and that is the fact that she says ‘this sums up everything that’s wrong with commercial radio, it’s about his head’ as in big head, as in ego, and ‘it’s about her body’ as in, she’s just a bimbo.
Now, I would say this to Catherine Deveny, yes, I’m on radio, yes, I’m in the public domain, yes, I have plenty to say. But I don’t have a big head, and I don’t have a big ego….I don’t go to openings, you don’t see me in the celebrity pages, I’m just a dad, with kids, who coaches their teams.
You know what? You’ve missed the mark because you probably don’t listen. And do you know what? This show is so dedicated towards equality and women, we’re largely based around women listening to our show, the music that we play…and it just really got my goat that this bland, snide assumption that commercial radio is for idiots and morons is insulting. Not only to us, but the people who listen…it’s snobbery of the worst kind, and it makes me sick, and I think it’s gutless to just put those remarks on Twitter about a photo that’s from years ago…
Matt: I’m not misogynist, I’m not demeaning of women – cheeky at best. And you Jo…making you out as a bimbo, and someone who’s vacuous, makes me sick to the bone, gutless Catherine Deveny. You (Jo) are the epitome of the modern woman – you work, you have a beautiful family, you’re passionate about our listeners, you are forthright and funny and feminist.
You’re being snobby about millions of people who live in this town who have made the choice to have a bit of fun, and put a bit back. And we do the odd good thing. We have raised a few million dollars for sick and unfortunate people…
The dispute over this photo is an interesting one because clearly two very high profile women – namely Catherine and Jo – perceive it quite differently.
Jo is proud of the shot, which admittedly is a pretty standard promotional radio photo, and also defends her industry as one which has promoted and protected her.
Catherine, on the other hand, is worried the shot is reflective of a broader negative culture in commercial radio.
One image. Two very different opinions. We’re keen to know what yours is.
It’s also worth noting that the image is now about 18 months old and no longer even used to promote the radio show, which is part of the confusion over Catherine tweeting about it – the show now use the below promo shot:
Do you listen to Matt and Jo or other commercial radio? Do you think that the image is sexist or is this an overreaction from Catherine Deveny?