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‘That’s what I call trashy:’ News 6 anchor Matt Austin fires back at trolls in defense of his daughters

ORLANDO, Fla. – As a public figure, News 6 host Matt Austin is used to being in the spotlight and potentially facing criticism ranging from comments about his delivery of the news to viewers encouraging him to change his haircut.

However, Austin was away from the studio lights and cameras of a live broadcast when he was met with a series of finger-wagging he wasn’t expecting – dozens of comments questioning his parenting and the propriety of his daughters’ clothing.

“I thought it was an innocent man,” he said. “I just posted a picture of me with two of my daughters. It’s the first time they’ve both gone homecoming — because one is a freshman and one is a senior. I always post a picture, whether it’s homecoming or prom, and I didn’t think twice about it.”

The post eventually garnered hundreds of comments on Facebook, some of which turned very ugly.

“I look in and I see people saying, ‘I would never let my daughter date that,’ ‘My dad wouldn’t let me,’ ‘I would never be around my dad in that kind of outfit’ — allusions that I’m a bad father,” Austin said.

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The negative reactions to Austin’s children made him outraged, both by what was being said and that he was the one exposing his daughters to such poison.

“I tried not to post anything that would put her in a light where people would shoot at her and unfortunately… I felt a little responsible and guilty at first and then I was like, ‘There’s nothing wrong with that.’ ” he said.

To vent his frustration, Austin once again took to social media. This time he had a message for the people who attacked his family.

“So I made what I thought was a pretty harmless post about my daughters looking gorgeous for homecoming, but you’d be shocked at some of the comments,” Austin’s TikTok post begins.

The video then moves on to some of the negative comments left on his Facebook post.

“One thing that’s always pissed me off as a father of girls is when people say things like, ‘Oh, these girls have to get dressed so they don’t distract the boys,’ or worse, ‘They dress kind and way they ask for it,'” the video continues. “Now let’s get something very clear, it’s not my daughter’s job to make sure your son is focused at school. It’s also not their job to dress so hideously that your son doesn’t attack them.”

Austin concludes the video by returning criticism to the trolls who attacked his family.

“You know what would really disappoint me? When my girls grow up to be the kind of adults who take to social media and demean a teenager’s appearance on their father’s Facebook page. That’s what I call trashy,” he said.

Before releasing the video, Austin got his daughters’ blessing.

“I said: What do you think of this? I don’t know what’s going to happen to it, but I don’t want to embarrass you,” he said. “The answer I got was, ‘This might be a bit embarrassing, but you’re right, just do it.'”

Austin’s original post was seen by hundreds of his followers, but his response to TikTok has been viewed more than 5 million times and received more than 35,000 comments, mostly in support of him and his daughters.

“It’s really impossible to keep up,” Austin said. “Five more comments come in every few seconds. It was weird. I’m used to people commenting on my stuff, but I usually focus on someone else’s story on social media. So the focus on me and my family was a bit disjointed.”

Incoherent but not disappointing.

“I was blown away by the positive attitude,” he said.

Austin added that as a father of daughters, he wasn’t always willing to allow his children to express themselves through their clothes. There was a point where he made her dress more decently, but there was a moment when he realized that doing so would lead to bigger problems.

“It was my daughter’s first homecoming,” he said. “I still see her as this little baby in my arms and she’s like, ‘okay, I’m going to try this dress on,’ and she picked out her favorite dress to show me.”

The revelation was more than he was prepared for as a father.

“She’s very excited. She’s in her little heels, has a big smile on her face and she’s walking out and all I see is this woman,” Austin said. “It shook me so much I was like, ‘No, turn it back. You don’t go into this go, try the next one.’”

He watched his eldest daughter immediately gasp and slip off to change.

“My wife was like, ‘Does it make you feel good?'” Austin said. “I didn’t, it sucked. It taught me a lesson. Do you know who do I want to be? What are my priorities on this dad thing?

As a father of daughters, Austin said it annoys him to see the double standards by which they are held at school and in society.

“I think our society has put the blame for sexual assault on women for far too long,” he said. “For the girls, there’s just this extra expectation and we’ve been doing that for a long time in society where it’s their fault if anything happens and as a father of daughters it drives me crazy.”

Despite the attention, both positive and negative, Austin believes it was ultimately a good experience for him and his daughters.

“My biggest concern is always what my daughters think in a situation like this,” he said. As the views and comments have piled up, I think they’re realizing that no matter what, their father will always have their back. No matter what internet troll, human or creature ever comes up against them, their father will always have their back.”

For his part, Austin added that he appreciates the support of the News 6 team, especially his bosses.

“My superiors have been very supportive,” he said. “In a public role like mine, I worry. The things you say on social media can affect your job if you don’t have the right managers and my managers have been super supportive.”

Austin added that his role as a father is paramount in his life and it is this job that ultimately matters most to him.

“If I die, if people think I’m a good news anchor or a bad news anchor, whatever,” he said. “I don’t identify with that. i am a father That is the most important thing for me.”

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