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Lisa Wilkinson leaves The Project after the ‘toxic’ media environment has become too much

''I’m not above criticism.''
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Lisa Wilkinson has announced she will be leaving The Project just a month after her co-host Carrie Bickmore.

After five years at the desk, Lisa revealed the “toxicity” emitting from the media was impacting herself and those around her.

Lisa has hosted The Project for five years.

(Image: Instagram)

“The last six months have not been easy and the relentless, targeted toxicity by some sections of the media has taken a toll not just on me but on people I love,” she said.

“Don’t get me wrong. I’m not above criticism. Far from it. I’m human, and I don’t always get it right. None of us do. But by god I’ve tried. I’ve given this job everything I have.”

“These people are genuinely… are some of the most talented and decent humans I know.

“And you, our passionate, engaged audience, have been so kind in making me feel so welcome in your homes. I’ve had a ball, but for me, right now, it’s time for a change.”

Lisa announced her departure not long after Carrie.

(Image: Instagram)

However, Lisa affirmed she will not be leaving Channel Ten: “I have had a ball. But for me right now it’s time for a change. To be clear. I’m not leaving Ten and we’re looking at some very exciting work ideas ahead.”

The “criticism” Lisa pointed out could be a result of her memoir, It Wasn’t Meant To Be Like This which explored her contract negotiations with Nine and her relationship with former Today co-host Karl Stefanovic.

Lisa was dismissed from Nine in 2017, after reportedly asking for a salary increase to close the gender pay gap between herself and Karl.

“We were a show turning over $60million a year, with well over half of that in profit. But it was the massive gap between Karl and me that was at issue,” Lisa wrote in her memoir.

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“By staying quiet, I would be complicit in perpetuating the gender pay gap for every woman who came after me.”

Nine’s at-the-time CEO Hugh Marks said Lisa asked for $2.3 million per year which surpassed Karl’s $2 million annual base salary.

Lisa was subjected to further backlash in June 2022 after her acceptance speech for a TV Logies Award resulted in the trial of Bruce Lermann, who was accused of sexually assaulting Brittany Higgins, being delayed.

Lisa received backlash following her acceptance speech.

(Image: Instagram)

Lisa was awarded for the coverage of Brittany’s allegations when she thanked The Project and highlighted a changing national conversation regarding sexual abuse.

However, Bruce’s lawyers argued the speech was a potential “contempt of court”. Meanwhile Chief Justice Lucy McCallum said: “What concerns me most about this recent round is that the distinction between an allegation and a finding of guilt has been completely obliterated.”

As a result, the court case was delayed until October and has since been further delayed until February 20, 2023.

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