Lisa Wilkinson criticism is ‘sexist’, says TV host

Leave Lisa alone: Criticism of The Project host is ‘sexist, nasty and personal,’ says one of the ABC’s biggest stars

  • Paul Barry blamed sexism for ongoing criticism targeted against Lisa Wilkinson
  • ABC Media Watch host hit out calling insults ‘nasty, personal and exhausting’ 
  • Barry admitted Wilkinson wasn’t perfect after she stirred controversies in past 

Paul Barry has blamed sexism for the ongoing criticism targeted against Lisa Wilkinson after she was forced to quit The Project. 

The ABC Media Watch host swooped in to defend the veteran TV personality labelling the insults as ‘nasty, personal and exhausting’. 

‘However privileged and pampered Lisa may be, in my view, the media pile-on is over the top, and it’s no coincidence that, once again, it’s a woman copping it,’ he said. 

Wilkinson has been under fire after blaming ‘targeted toxicity’ from the media for her decision to step down as host of Channel Ten’s flagship program on November 20.

Paul Barry has blamed sexism for the ongoing criticism targeted against Lisa Wilkinson after she was forced to quit The Project

Paul Barry has blamed sexism for the ongoing criticism targeted against Lisa Wilkinson after she was forced to quit The Project

Critics accused her of playing the victim while downplaying her past controversies.

Barry admitted Wilkinson had landed herself in hot water on more than one occasion including her Logies acceptance speech, pay dispute with Karl Stefanovic and the release of her autobiography, ‘It Wasn’t Meant To Be Like This’.

‘Well by her own admission, she sure ain’t perfect,’ Barry said. 

Wilkinson delayed a high-profile rape trial in her Logies acceptance speech.

The original trial date was slated for June 27 but was pushed back until October 4 with a judge ruling it would be ‘unfair’ to continue due to public commentary. 

Wilkinson also drew criticism after stepping down as co-host of Channel Nine’s Today Show because of a pay dispute in October 2017.

Wilkinson has been under fire after blaming 'targeted toxicity' from the media for her decision to step down as host of Channel Ten's flagship program on November 20

Wilkinson has been under fire after blaming ‘targeted toxicity’ from the media for her decision to step down as host of Channel Ten’s flagship program on November 20

Barry admitted Wilkinson had landed herself in hot water on more than one occasion including her Logies acceptance speech, pay dispute with Karl Stefanovic and the release of her autobiography, 'It Wasn't Meant To Be Like This'

Barry admitted Wilkinson had landed herself in hot water on more than one occasion including her Logies acceptance speech, pay dispute with Karl Stefanovic and the release of her autobiography, ‘It Wasn’t Meant To Be Like This’

She complained she was earning less money than her co-host Karl Stefanovic and left the network after her demands for equal pay were not met. 

Wilkinson sparked more outrage after publishing her autobiography in 2021.

‘It Wasn’t Meant To Be Like This’ chronicled her evolution from a shy and bullied school girl to one of the most powerful women on television.

Right-wing commentator Rita Panahi labelled the 500-page book a ‘woe-is-me waffle’.

‘I’m talking about the entitled, privileged and pampered television personality Lisa Wilkinson, who has an incessant need to talk about how she has suffered,’ she said.

The most recent backlash came after Wilkinson delivered her farewell speech during her final appearance on The Project.

Wilkinson delayed the high-profile rape trial against Bruce Lehrmann after she praised accuser Brittany Higgins in her Logies acceptance speech

Wilkinson delayed the high-profile rape trial against Bruce Lehrmann after she praised accuser Brittany Higgins in her Logies acceptance speech

‘The last six months have not been easy, and the relentless targeted toxicity by some sections of the media has taken a toll, not just on me but on the people I love,’ she said.

Critics accused her of playing the victim with The Australian’s media writer Sophie Elsworth saying it was ‘her own doing’.

‘Lisa Wilkinson, in typical fashion, made it all about her and plays the victim,’ she said last Monday.

‘She made headlines back in June for that speech we know she gave at the Logies that was problematic, so that’s why she predominantly made a lot of headlines.

‘But she took last night’s exit from The Project to slam the media on the way out.’

Barry called for an end to the criticism saying it had taken a toll on the media personality.  

‘It’s nasty, personal and exhausting, and in my view, no one deserves it,’ he said.

Inside the lavish life of Lisa Wilkinson who’s been living large thanks to her huge Channel Ten salary – and she’ll STILL get paid despite leaving The Project: ‘Out of touch with reality’ 

TV host Lisa Wilkinson’s lavish salary from The Project has helped the media star fund a dream lifestyle of high-end properties, fancy cars, luxury fashion and first-class trips overseas.

Wilkinson, 62, abruptly quit co-hosting Ten’s flagship current affairs program last Sunday citing ‘targeted toxicity’ from sections of the media as the reasoning behind her exit.

The veteran media star reportedly collected $1.7million a year during her four year stint on the show. However, she will remain with Ten on other projects, with years remaining on an ongoing multi-year contract that was revealed last year.

Wilkinson signed the ‘lucrative’ deal with the network back in 2020, which reportedly runs for four years.

It means the presenter will be staying with Ten until new projects come up for her in the foreseeable future.

Paramount executive vice president Beverley McGarvey confirmed that she’d be back on our screens soon.

She said: ‘I know she will be sorely missed both by our audience, and the entire Project team, and while we are saddened that Lisa will no longer be on The Project, we look forward to continuing our strong relationship with Lisa into 2023 and beyond.’

Channel 10 has no idea what to do with Lisa Wilkinson, 62, (pictured) during the rest of her multi-million dollar contract following her departure from Today, reports claim

Lisa Wilkinson (pictured) is still living large after her departure from The Project on Sunday night 

Despite her role on The Project coming to an end, Wilkinson will still be able to live large.

The 62-year-old lives in a multi-million dollar home in Cremorne with views over the Sydney Harbour with her husband, journalist and author Peter FitzSimons, and their three children. 

The couple’s previous property, a mansion in nearby Mosman, had five bedrooms and three bathrooms.

The former Project host previously resided at a luxury mansion in Mosman with her family

The former Project host previously resided at a luxury mansion in Mosman with her family

Wilkinson also owns a 1970s single bedroom apartment in Cremorne that overlooks Sydney Harbour

Wilkinson also owns a 1970s single bedroom apartment in Cremorne that overlooks Sydney Harbour 

The cosy apartment features a contemporary decor, open plan living, modern ensuite bathroom and a balcony with sweeping views

The cosy apartment features a contemporary decor, open plan living, modern ensuite bathroom and a balcony with sweeping views

Wilkinson also owns a 1970s single bedroom apartment in Cremorne that overlooks Sydney Harbour with views of both the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.

The property is rented out for $770 a week. The home once belonged to her late mother, Beryl who reportedly bought it for $388,000 in 1996.

After her mother’s death in 2018, Wilkinson’s brothers Kyle and Brett sold her their share of the property for $275,000 each.

Along with her luxurious property portfolio, Wilkinson also drives a $124,000 Audi A7 Sportback and is an ambassador for the marque.

She has also been pictured driving an Audi A3 convertible, worth about $53,000.

Wilkinson currently drives an expensive Audi A7 Sportback, worth more than $124,000

Wilkinson currently drives an expensive Audi A7 Sportback, worth more than $124,000

Wilkinson has also been pictured driving an Audi A3 convertible, worth around $53,000.

Wilkinson has also been pictured driving an Audi A3 convertible, worth around $53,000.

Along with her love for fancy sports cars, Wilkinson is frequently pictured overseas and across Australia enjoying lavish getaways.

In April this year, the 62-year-old media personality shared a series of snaps from her trip to the five-star Eden Health resort on the Gold Coast. 

The resort offers seven-night packages for up to $11,375 per person in its top-of-the-line Cascade Lodge. On the lower end of the scale, Eden offers seven nights in a deluxe double lodge for $8,000 for two.

The TV star has also been pictured holidaying in Sydney’s exclusive Newport beach, Greece, Italy and France.

Wilkinson has pictured holidaying in Sydney's exclusive Newport beach, Greece, Italy and France

Wilkinson has pictured holidaying in Sydney’s exclusive Newport beach, Greece, Italy and France

Lisa Wilkinson enjoyed a relaxing holiday at a $11,000-a-week health retreat in Queensland earlier this year

Lisa Wilkinson enjoyed a relaxing holiday at a $11,000-a-week health retreat in Queensland earlier this year

Lisa’s love for the good life does not stop there, with the TV star often spotted at the world’s best restaurants.

In May, she wrote about dining at the iconic Ivy restaurant in Los Angeles, where main courses cost up $66 each.

The restaurant is frequented by some of the world’s biggest stars, including Nicole Richie, Tara Reid, Paris Hilton, Tom Cruise and Kim Kardashian.  

Back home, she also enjoys fancy meals out, with Wilkinson spotted enjoying a cocktail at the at Spoonbill Restaurant and Bar in Melbourne in March, sitting alone at a table by the window.

She also ordered a meal, dining on what appeared to be mussels and broccoli as she enjoyed her solo outing.  

Lisa Wilkinson is pictured drinking a margarita at the Spoonbill Restaurant and Bar at The Olsen hotel in Melbourne

Lisa Wilkinson is pictured drinking a margarita at the Spoonbill Restaurant and Bar at The Olsen hotel in Melbourne

Lisa spares no expense when it comes to her wardrobe choices, with the TV star pictured in a boho D'Ascoli frock costing $550

Lisa spares no expense when it comes to her wardrobe choices, with the TV star pictured in a boho D’Ascoli frock costing $550

The TV host’s fashion tastes are not cheap, and she has worn dresses from Koh Woman, Karen Millen and Cazinc The Label, costing up to $550.

Wilkinson’s lavish lifestyle has prompted some to question if she is in touch with ordinary Aussies when commenting on political issues.

‘Lisa lives in her mansion in Mosman, she can’t relate,’ said one Twitter user.

‘Lisa Wilkinson is not qualified to give financial advice,’ commented another.

A third wrote: ‘Lisa Wilkinson … with harbourside mansion … oh dear another one with irrelevance syndrome.’

‘Coming from someone in a mansion… clueless,’ added another.

The presenter stunned viewers on The Project on Sunday night when she announced she was stepping down as host to reprioritise her life after a tumultuous six months.

‘The last six months have not been easy. And the relentless, targeted toxicity by some sections of the media has taken a toll not just on me, but on people I love,’ she said.

‘Don’t get me wrong. I’m not above criticism. Far from it. I’m human, and I don’t always get it right. None of us do. But by god I’ve tried. I’ve given this job. Everything I have. And I hope you at home know that. I hope I’ve brought you stories that matter, and introduced you to people whose lives and stories otherwise might never have been told.’

Wilkinson was adamant that the decision to leave the program was hers and hers alone.

Wilkinson claimed 'targeted toxicity' from sections of the media was behind her departure

Wilkinson claimed ‘targeted toxicity’ from sections of the media was behind her departure 

Last year, OzTAM ratings revealed Channel 10's flagship current affairs program had lost almost a third of its audience since 2011. Pictured (L-R): Tommy little, Peter Helliar, Hamish Macdonald, Carrie Bickmore, Waleed Aly, Lisa Wilkinson and Gorgi Coghlan

Last year, OzTAM ratings revealed Channel 10’s flagship current affairs program had lost almost a third of its audience since 2011. Pictured (L-R): Tommy little, Peter Helliar, Hamish Macdonald, Carrie Bickmore, Waleed Aly, Lisa Wilkinson and Gorgi Coghlan

Wilkinson’s departure comes as both comedian Peter Helliar and co-host Carrie Bickmore also revealed they were leaving.

Peter Helliar became the latest star to quit as the mass exodus on Tuesday night’s program, claiming he needed more time to work on other ventures.

Long-time anchor Carrie Bickmore confirmed her departure a month ago. Her last appearance is scheduled for next Wednesday’s program.  

The Project has struggled in the ratings in previous years, with a consistent decline in ratings. 

OzTAM ratings have previously revealed The Project had lost almost a third of its audience since 2011.

The struggling show saw its metro ratings plummet to an all-time low of just 367,000 last year.

That’s a 30 per cent decline from its five-city audience of 538,000 a decade earlier.

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