Sky News host Jayne Secker apologized for the wrong “tone and content” in an interview with an apartment renter.
Secker interviewed a woman named Kirsty Archer, a member of the London Renters Union who was evicted under the UK section 21 notices which allow landlords to evict tenants with short notice and without reason, about a proposal related to evictions and renters, the Press Gazette reported. Secker argued problems renters have finding a place to live in London is “just the housing market” and “not the landlord’s fault.”
Secker noted she rents apartments out, and said sometimes “the younger generations…don’t really know how to do a great deal in a home.” Archer, the interviewee, tweeted that she found the interview “condescending and insensitive.” (Archer has since written a piece for the Guardian about the segment and the issue of being evicted. She noted she received a “gracious personal apology” from Secker.)
“I suppose some would say – and I am speaking as somebody who has rented flats, who also rents flats out – that especially with the younger generation in terms of renters you very often find that tenants don’t really know how to do a great deal in a home. So I for example have had tenants complaining that lights have popped because they don’t know how to change lightbulbs. I’ve had tenants complain about heating and thy haven’t turned the boiler on. I mean it’s just very obvious things. If you lived in a home you owned, nobody would be able to fix these things for you, they’re just things that actually often require a bit of common sense. Do you think you’ve found amongst your friends perhaps that you aren’t equipped with all the necessary skills to rent?
Archer responded in part that “that’s a bit patronizing.” Then, Secker ended the segment, apologizing to viewers for Archer’s language because she used the word “pissed.”
Secker tweeted: “Clearly yesterday I got the tone and content of an interview wrong and it has upset many people. I am sure many of us will have made a mistake at work – unfortunate for me mine is a lot more public than most. Please be assured I have taken the many comments on board. Mea culpa.”