Sunrise’s Sam Armytage has thrown her full support behind a Melbourne small business owner who defied Melbourne’s strict coronavirus restrictions to reopen his clothing store.
Harry Hutchinson risked an almost $10,000 fine to reopen his menswear store in Melbourne this week after he says he became fed up with the Victorian government’s strict restrictions that have seen businesses closed for months.
“I don’t mean to be breaking the law, but I feel so strongly about small business surviving... they’re doing it tough, I’m not the only one,” Harry said in an interview during the breakfast program.
“We’ve got to get back to work, the economy has got to survive.”
Samantha Armytage has copped heavy criticism after calling him a “wonderful Australian” and promising Sunrise would do its best to support him.
“You are a wonderful Australian, you are the type of person we all need that we look to, you are hardworking you are honest, we wish you all the best,” she said.
Viewers of the program were quick to take to social media to blast the host for supporting someone ignoring the rules.
“Samantha Armytage, how dare you sit up there in Sydney and encourage this person to, in his own words, 'not care',” one person wrote on Twitter. “He is a bloody salesman not an expert in communicable diseases. All those who visited his shop should be fined also.”
“Sunrise encouraging people to break the law and risk a 3rd wave and a shop owner who thinks he knows what police are thinking police are sick of people like you who continue to place people at risk of contracting this virus,” was another outraged response.
While a third said: “This is disgraceful, as to be expected from Sam Armytage and the Seven Network.”
There were others, however, who supported the host and the business owner.
“Keep reporting these stories,” one person said. “We need to hear more than Government press releases repeated.”