UPDATE: ABC Director of News Gaven Morris said in a statement that Exelby was not "punished for a blooper."
"Natasha is a freelance journalist who works as a contributor," he said.
"She has been rostered for various shifts and has been assured since yesterday that we want that to continue. While she is not currently doing any on air shifts, this will be subject to normal performance management."
Natasha Exelby, the news anchor who went viral over the weekend when footage of her being caught unaware on camera picked up millions of views on Twitter, Facebook and Reddit, has reportedly been banned from further on air roles – and people are pissed.
First brought to the public's attention by ABC program Media Watch, the footage of Exelby examining her pen instead of looking at the camera picked up more than 7,000 retweets (trust us, that's big for Australian Twitter).
Exelby is a casual worker at the ABC and reportedly won't be given any more on air roles at the network. The apparent reaction from ABC management has caused outcry from the Australian public, including opposition leader Bill Shorten and a slew of journalists.
In response to the blooper journalists across the country began tweeting with the hashtag #putyourbloopersout, sharing times when they too were caught off guard.
And others (including a bunch of high profile politicians) are just generally pissed off with the national public broadcaster.
This is the federal opposition leader:
A Change.org petition has now been started demanding that ABC chief Michelle Guthrie reinstate Exelby.
Exelby has not commented on the incident or alleged demotion, except for this tweet sent out yesterday morning.
Brad Esposito is a news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Contact Brad Esposito at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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