Gen Fricker takes aim at ABC’s response to 2018 stalker incident
Former triple j host Gen Fricker has criticised the ABC’s response to an incident in 2018 when she was attacked while broadcasting on air.
Speaking on Marie Claire’s Finding Fearless podcast, Fricker spoke about how she had dealt with the fallout after the incident, but also levelled criticism at the ABC.
In September of 2018, 31-year-old man Kieren Gallagher was arrested after police alleged he gained unlawful access to the ABC’s Ultimo offices, entered the triple j studio, before grabbing and kissing Fricker during a song break.
Fricker explains that Gallagher, who had been stalking her for months, had previously gained access into the ABC on several occasions and when he exited the studios he “knew where the fire escape was”.
“I really love triple j and obviously I feel like so much of my career I owe to them, but the response I got from the ABC was ‘this isn’t our fault, you take as much time off as you want, but we don’t have to do anything’.”
In a statement to The Herald Sun, the ABC has rejected Fricker’s claims, insisting it discussed the incident at length with the former presenter.
Speaking on the podcast, Fricker explains that after speaking to other women who had gone through similar traumatic experiences, she realised she was entitled to ask for things and say ‘hey I want to come back.. but I need to see some accountability’.
“I asked for an accountability report, and didn’t hear anything for a month. Then I got an email that said ‘sorry we’re a bit busy at the moment.
“Of all the places to not respond to this… this place tells you ‘we’re all family, we’re the ABC and we’re cool, we’re not like corporate radio stations’.”
She then explains that she had told her employer about Gallagher coming up to her at a gig months earlier, but the information was never passed on to ABC security.
A spokesperson for the ABC told The Sun Herald the organisation was in “constant contact” with Fricker and “responded promptly and comprehensively to all her requests, including the provision of a security incident report and agreed return-to-work plan.
“ABC Security discussed the initial incident with Gen and her manager and provided advice about additional security precautions and options such as reporting the matter to the police,” said a spokesperson for the ABC.
The spokesperson also said the ABC has “a strong track record of supporting female staff across all working areas, including personal safety and wellbeing and policies supporting equal pay and representation of women across the organisation”.
Fricker departed her job hosting Lunch on triple j at the end of 2019.
Listen to the episode below: