On Sunday night, 19-year-old Jackson Parfitt and 24-year-old Brock Ashby featured in The Voice‘s ‘battle round’, the two men jostling for a spot on Kelly Rowland’s team in the reality show.
But some two days after their performance aired, few are talking about their singing. Instead, a large portion found host Sonia Kruger’s behaviour to the men jarring in a realm that is punctuated by talk of sexual harassment and how seriously we must consider the overlap between a power imbalance and the ability to give considered consent.
As the two men finished their performance, host Joe Jonas commended Jackson on his performance:
“Jackson you’ve grown a lot as a singer,” he said.
“Having Kelly as a coach has really helped you. You are trying new things and it’s really impressive. You forgot a few buttons on your shirt though, I noticed.”
Watch the full exchange here (Post continues):
Then, came Delta Goodrem:
“No he didn’t,” she said.
Sonia Kruger then entered the fray, gesturing towards the 19-year-old’s chest.
“No, you’re right. You forgot to undo this one and this one,” she said, as she walked over to his chest and pointing to his buttons.
It didn’t quite end there, with Kruger then offering to “keep” the artist Rowland didn’t pick for herself. Goodrem assured her that was “perfectly normal,” because they are “very talented, gorgeous looking men”.
Twitter were fast, fierce and firm: Why the double standard?
Anyone else over the comments objectifying contestants on #TheVoiceAU?
— Kayla (@kaylasymons2) May 13, 2018
#TheVoiceAU we wouldn’t stand for men objectifying female contestants in the way your male contestants are being objectified. Not on. Not comfortable to watch. We should not have double standards on these issues.
— Kate McCready (@katemccready) May 13, 2018