She’s been a fixture on Australian television for decades and on Friday’s episode of Studio 10, Denise Drysdale opened up about the sexual harassment she’s been subjected to throughout her lengthy career.
Talk on Friday’s episode of the hit morning show quickly turned to harassment and Drysdale, along with other panellists, were quick to talk about their own horror experiences within the industry.
“I tell you, there is about five years of my life where everybody talked to me like that,” the host said, demonstrating how men would look at her breasts and chests rather than her eyes or face.
Her co-host Sarah Harris explained that she had faced the same problem. She was curious to know how 69-year-old Drysdale put up with the harassment for so long.
“Well, I developed a routine that I would say and get in first about my boobs,” she explained. “I can’t even remember what it was, but I got in before anybody had a chance to say it and that’s all.”
The Blowing Hot and Cold star had a disgusted look on her face as she continued with her story.
“The amount of guys that used to say, ‘hello t-i-t-s’. That’s how they’d address you. Not by your name,” she explained.
Despite the abuse she received in the past, the star recently opened up about how she wasn’t a fan of how the PC-police were reacting to innocent flirting. Earlier this year, the star appeared on ABC’s Tonightly with Tom Ballard, where she explained that people now feel afraid to flirt in light of the MeToo movement.
“Years ago, if I got a wolf-whistle I used to think, ‘thanks very much’. Now they can land in jail for it or something. It’s ridiculous,” she said.
Although she is one of the fan favourites on Studio 10, Drysdale recently announced that she would be temporarily leaving the show. Earlier this month, the star responded to rumours that she was quitting showbiz for good and explained to her co-hosts that the rumours weren’t exactly true.
“I thought I would be leaving,” she said. “I’ve been doing this job and touring for 54 years and it’s been getting to me and I’m just sick of the travel and sick of sleeping in other people’s beds.
“I went to Luce [Studio 10 executive producer] and said, ‘look, I need to go’ and then I had a meeting.”
Producers didn’t want the Gold Logie winner to leave forever and told her to have a break and come back when she’s ready.
“How lucky am I?” she said. “At my age to still be working, but to have that opportunity to go and have a little break.”
Drysdale is expected to depart next month and return to Studio 10 in 2019.