Yumi Stynes and Kerri-Anne Kennerley's tense argument about Australia Day protests.

Kerri-Anne Kennerley was called-out by fellow panellist Yumi Stynes for racism during a fierce Australia Day debate on Studio 10 this morning.

The debate erupted during a panel discussion about the weekend’s ‘Invasion Day’ protests, in which thousands of Australians took to the streets to demand the date of Australia Day be changed, arguing it has “become a symbol of inequity and institutionalised harm”.

After the segment, Kennerley was quick to deliver her own message to the protesters – expressing her stance on the issue.

“OK, the 5000 people who went through the streets making their points known, saying how inappropriate the day is. Has any single one of those people been out to the Outback, where children, babies, five-year-olds are being raped? Their mothers are being raped, their sisters are being raped. They get no education. What have you done?” she asked.

After Kerri-Anne’s confronting message in accordance with the troublesome stats, Yumi was first to speak up.

“That is not even faintly true, Kerri-Anne. You’re sounding quite racist right now.”


Yumi’s abrupt words triggered gasps from the studio audience — before Kerri-Anne herself snapped back to say she was “offended”.

“Well keep going then, because every time you open your mouth you’re sounding racist,” said Yumi.

“I am seriously offended by that, Yumi. SERIOUSLY offended,” said Kerri-Anne.

“These people are desperate for help. Aboriginal elder women are desperate for help, and they’re not getting it. Where are these people (other than) one day of the year? You’d be better off doing something positive,” she continued.

Studio 10 host Sarah Harris then attempted to step in, agreeing that the issue is worthy of debate, and noting both women’s passion, but suggesting her co-stars to “take it back a notch.”

“Just because I have a point of view, Yumi, doesn’t mean I’m racist,” said Kerri-Anne in an attempt at the final world.

“Yeah, you’re actually connecting rape, child abuse, you’re drawing a straight line … and you’re implying those 5000 protesters, none of whom you know personally, are all lazy and idle. You’re asking if any of them have ever done anything as though it’s clear they haven’t,” rebutted Yumi.

Kerri-Anne then accused her of “drawing a line that isn’t there.”

“That’s the line! I see it quite clearly,” said Yumi.

“Well … get new glasses,” quipped Kerri-Anne to jeers from the audience.

Afterwards, she insisted it had been merely a healthy debate.

“This is just an issue that Yumi and I have. There are probably 20 other things that we do agree on — this is just one that we don’t.”