Fauziah Ibrahim has been criticised for making a crude joke about the similarities between a robotic finger and a sex toy during her weekend breakfast show.

The embattled ABC host is no stranger to controversy and only returned to air two weeks ago on May 28 after creating two public Twitter lists describing her followers as ‘lobotomised s**theads’ and ‘Labor trolls/thugs’.

She was stood down from her on-air reporting duties on April 25 but returned a month later. 

Now, she’s back in the firing line again as her critics slam her for the ‘unprofessional’ and ‘juvenile’ remarks. 

During the segment on Sunday morning, Ms Ibrahim said the robotic finger was ‘warm and sweaty… It looks like it needs AA batteries… It might do something else.’

The embattled ABC host is no stranger to controversy and is now back in the firing line again as her critics slam her for the ‘unprofessional’ and ‘juvenile’ remarks]

Her co-host attempted to ignore the joke by noting the robotic finger – which has been covered in human skin cells to replicate the appearance of a real finger – needed ‘a bit of sun, perhaps’.

As a second image of the robotic finger appeared on screens, Ms Ibrahim tried the joke again.

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Was Ms Ibrahim’s joke about sex toys on air offensive?

‘I’m telling you it needs an AA battery and it probably vibrates.’

When her second attempt to make the joke also garnered an exasperated response from her colleague, Ms Ibrahim attempted to brush it off, asking: ‘Too early?’

‘Too early for a breakfast show? Welcome to Weekend Breakfast, everybody’. 

The lighthearted comment attracted a raft of criticism online, with some even calling for her resignation after two years in her role.

Her co-host attempted to ignore the joke by noting the robotic finger - which has been covered in human skin cells to replicate the appearance of a real finger - needed 'a bit of sun, perhaps'

Her co-host attempted to ignore the joke by noting the robotic finger – which has been covered in human skin cells to replicate the appearance of a real finger – needed ‘a bit of sun, perhaps’

The Weekend Breakfast anchor (pictured during her previous role at Al Jazeera) vanished from screens after creating two public Twitter lists grouping her followers into groups titled 'lobotomised sh**heads' and 'Labor trolls/thugs'

The Weekend Breakfast anchor (pictured during her previous role at Al Jazeera) vanished from screens after creating two public Twitter lists grouping her followers into groups titled ‘lobotomised sh**heads’ and ‘Labor trolls/thugs’

‘I’m not a prude but is it acceptable for a ABC presenter to ridicule a robotics finger by making a juvenile reference to a vibrator and dildo,’ one critic asked.

‘Why are we getting this smutty garbage on our screens?’

Another said: ‘I thought her remarks were totally out of order. She really has to go – for good this time!’

It comes after Ms Ibrahim was cleared following an investigation into the offensive comments made on her Twitter account in April this year.

Social media users who found themselves grouped in the two lists - which were made public on Ms Ibrahim's account - accused her of displaying anti-Labor bias

Social media users who found themselves grouped in the two lists – which were made public on Ms Ibrahim’s account – accused her of displaying anti-Labor bias

Ms Ibrahim had grouped a handful of Twitter followers into two lists on her personal account, ‘lobotomised s**theads’ and ‘Labor trolls/thugs’, which were left open for the public to see.

When she learned these groups were public and had notified users, the mentions were swiftly deleted.

Ms Ibrahim subsequently deleted mentions of the ABC from her Twitter bio, before seemingly deleting her account completely.

When Ms Ibrahim came under fire over a live TV interview with Anthony Albanese back in January, ABC executives strongly backed her ‘impartiality’.

At the time, Ms Ibrahim was accused of showing ‘arrogance and extreme bias’ against the Labor Party and speaking over Mr Albanese.

Ms Ibrahim subsequently deleted mentions of the ABC from her Twitter bio, before seemingly deleting her account completely

Ms Ibrahim subsequently deleted mentions of the ABC from her Twitter bio, before seemingly deleting her account completely

But the ABC offered her unwavering support. So much so that some viewers now believe she is ‘untouchable’.

Ms Ibrahim’s interview with Mr Albanese centred on Covid rapid tests and vaccination figures and the presenter was accused on social media of rarely giving Mr Albanese an opportunity to complete a sentence.

At one stage, he tried six times to answer a statement she made about Labor ‘getting on board’ with the Coalition’s plan to boost vaccination rates.

‘If you’ll just wait a minute,’ Mr Albanese said as Ms Ibrahim spoke over the top of him. 

The interview attracted criticism and upset several viewers enough they lodged complaints with the public broadcaster.

ABC Weekend Breakfast presenter Fauziah Ibrahim returned to air on May 28 after abruptly disappearing from screens back in April

ABC Weekend Breakfast presenter Fauziah Ibrahim returned to air on May 28 after abruptly disappearing from screens back in April 

In the wake of the interview, Ms Ibrahim was the subject of intense and persistent trolling and online bullying.

‘Ms Ibrahim’s ”interview” was an absolute disgrace and should cost her her job,’ one viewer said after the segment aired. 

In response to complaints made about the interview, the ABC’s Head of Audience and Consumer Affairs determined Ms Ibrahim ‘conducted [herself] with due impartiality and complied with the ABC’s editorial standards’.

‘Ms Ibrahim employed the adversarial or ‘devil’s advocate’ approach to interviewing. We are satisfied the interview with Mr Albanese was suitably rigorous and informative, the questions posed by Ms Ibrahim were relevant and based strictly on news value,’ the statement read.

‘Mr Albanese was afforded ample opportunity to respond to the questions in detail and at length. While rigorous, Ms Ibrahim demonstrated a consistently civil and objective approach.’

Ms Ibrahim locked down her social media accounts in the wake of the controversy amid trolling from critics who have labelled her 'trash' and 'disgusting'

Ms Ibrahim locked down her social media accounts in the wake of the controversy amid trolling from critics who have labelled her ‘trash’ and ‘disgusting’

ABC’s response to complaint about Fauziah Ibrahim’s interview with Anthony Albanese in full

‘We have reviewed the interview and assessed its compliance with the ABC’s editorial standards for impartiality.

‘During this interview, Fauziah Ibrahim employed the adversarial or ‘devil’s advocate’ approach to interviewing, which involves putting other points of view to the interviewee. It is Ms Ibrahim’s duty to conduct a testing interview that does not allow the interviewee to use the occasion as a political platform, and to interject and make reasonable efforts to ensure that the questions that were asked are answered. Posing testing questions and then allowing the interviewee to respond to those questions is a recognised standard of objective journalism.

‘On review, we are satisfied the interview with Mr Albanese was suitably rigorous and informative, the questions posed by Ms Ibrahim were relevant and based strictly on news value, and Mr Albanese was afforded ample opportunity to respond to the questions in detail and at length. While rigorous, Ms Ibrahim demonstrated a consistently civil and objective approach. The interview was conducted with due impartiality and complied with the ABC’s editorial standards.

‘Thank you for giving the ABC the opportunity to respond to your concerns. Should you remain dissatisfied, you may be able to pursue your complaint with the Australian Communications and Media Authority.’



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