The Project hosts Chrissie Swan and Steve Price had a rather awkward on-air clash on Monday evening while discussing Blockade Australia’s unauthorised protest in Sydney, which saw environmental activists marching through the streets and stopping traffic.
Chrissie, who has been filling in for regular co-host Carrie Bickmore on the current affairs program for the past few months, admitted she was “terrified” when Steve spoke over her during his fiery rant.
The debate kicked off when Steve expressed his outrage towards the protest, saying that he’s not quite sure how the week-long disruption will help their cause.
“I just think it's pathetic that they fill barrels with concrete and throw rubbish through the streets,” Steve began. “I mean none of us would do that.”
Chrissie then chimed in and attempted to make a counterargument in support of the protesters but was quickly cut off.
“I know that it’s deeply inconvenient…” she said before Steve turned to her and exclaimed: “It’s pathetic!”
The Masked Singer judge then laughed awkwardly, muttered “OK… I’m terrified” and looked around the studio at her fellow panellists while Steve furiously continued.
“And disruptive!” the Triple M broadcaster went on. “And they deserve to go to jail!”
Co-host Peter Helliar then decided to jump in and lightheartedly call out Steve for his behaviour towards Chrissie and the hypocrisy in his comments.
“Chrissie's trying to chat and you're saying [the protesters are] disruptive,” he said, which was met with laughter from the crowd. “Are you protesting Chrissie trying to speak?”
Eventually, Chrissie was able to finish her point, telling Steve: “I just think on the bell curve of passion, the price for apathy is extreme caring like that.”
“What, breaking the law?” he asked.
“Well, yeah,” she replied. “And I’m OK with it. I would never do that, but I think that’s the price of democracy.”
While the hosts swiftly moved on from the heated debate, a number of viewers took to social media to blast Steve for being “unbelievably rude” and “thoroughly unwatchable”.
“It’s really time Steve Price was not booked on the show again,” one person wrote, followed by another who labelled his actions as “aggressive”.
“I was appalled last night by Steve Price on The Project,” a third shared. “His comments about Blockade Australia were disrespectful and he intimidated the other hosts in a way that prevented them from freely sharing their opinions.”
“Why do I watch The Project on a Monday? I know Steve Price is gonna infuriate me,” someone else remarked.
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