A morning show host in Australia is being accused of making racist comments on air about a set of unique twins.Lucy and Maria Aylmer don't look anything like it, but they're fraternal twins. Their father identifies as white and their mother is half-Jamaican. The sisters' dramatically different appearance cause many to see them as different races.
Channel 7's Sunrise anchor Samantha Armytage was introducing the twins on-air for a segment last month and made questionable comment while explaining their parents' background.
"The Aylmer twins come from a mixed race family in the U.K. Maria has taken after her half-Jamaican mum with dark skin and brown eyes and curly dark hair, but Lucy got her dad's fair skin, good on her, along with straight red hair and blue eyes."
"Good on her" for getting her dad's fair skin? Even her co-anchor David Koch appeared surprised by Armytage's comment.
A spokesman for the network told the Sydney Morning-Herald that the host's remark was just a joke about her own experience.
"Regular members of the Sunrise audience or anyone who has seen the clip in full will know that Sam was taking a dig at herself," said the spokesman. "She frequently jokes about the fair skin that runs in her family and how difficult it can be to manage in extreme environments."
Still, viewers took to Twitter to express their disapproval.
One user called her remarks, "disgusting, very disgusting."
Another demanded that the host apologize, saying, "Incredibly insensitive remark to make, whether or not you were "making a dig at yourself"
But others defended the anchor. A columnist tweeted, "The simplistic rush to judge @sam_armytage's comments out of context is social media at its worst. Bullying dressed up as moral indignation."
Melbourne-based hip-hop producer Jay Fifth launched a petition, calling on the show's producer or Armytage herself to apologize. It has garnered more than 4,000 signatures.
Armytage has since issued an apology, saying, "I would be mortified if anyone thought I would say or think anything racist. It's not in my nature. To anyone who I might have offended, I'm sorry."
The twins also issued a statement, saying they took no offense to the comments. "We believe she DID NOT MEANT THIS AS A RACIAL COMMENT and we have taken NO PERSONAL OFFENCE to it," Lucy wrote. Check out her full note below:
Myself, my twin sister and our mother took no offence to Samantha Armytage's "good on her" comment.We believe she DID...