Sunrise's Natalie Barr opens up about 'disgusting' anti-vax trolling

·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

Sunrise host Natalie Barr has opened up about how she copes with some of the "disgusting" abuse she receives online by trolls on social media.

Video of Nat discussing Western Australia's strict ban on unvaccinated parents visiting their sick children in hospital quickly went viral on social media. The host was forced to block dozens of people after receiving vile abuse.

Sunrise's Natalie Barr
Sunrise's Natalie Barr has opened up about how she copes with some of the 'disgusting' abuse she receives online. Photo: Getty

The controversial issue was covered in the 'hot topics' segment of the show with Perth Lord Mayor and broadcaster Basil Zempilas, and Herald Sun education reporter and columnist Susie O’Brien.

In her closing comments, Nat said: "Other states have had various forms of this and people have had time (to get vaccinated), you know. I mean, really."

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One Twitter account shared the video, writing: "Western Australia bans unvaccinated parents from seeing their sick children in hospital. The media applauds exploiting desperate parents in their darkest hour."

The video received over one million views with Nat forced to block more than a few people.

Natalie Barr on Sunrise
Video of Nat discussing Western Australia's strict ban on unvaccinated parents visiting their sick children in hospital quickly went viral on social media, leading to her getting viciously trolled. Photo: Seven

"Once it started hitting US and overseas websites and chat rooms that’s when the abuse started … swearing and negative language," she told The Australian. "If you’ve taken a stand and you’ve given your opinion, people don’t respect your opinion or they might put a screenshot on and write really disgusting language across the screenshot and then send that to you."

Nat revealed that when she took on the role as Sunrise co-host almost one year ago, she turned Twitter notifications off on her phone so she wouldn't see so many of the horrible comments.

The host has previously opened up on how she deals with trolling at a panel at the Australian Women's Weekly 'Women of the Future Awards' last year.

Sunrise team
The host has previously opened up on how she deals with trolling, saying she simply blocks the trolls and moves on. Photo: Seven

"The comments are [like] the gutter… you kind of want to have a look, but it's really, really dangerous," she said, touching on some of the backlash she faced after taking the Sunrise co-hosting role after Samantha Armytage left the show.

"I've got screenshots of people saying 'die b—ch, die' all the usual stuff," she said.

"I've had pictures sent to me that say 'this b—ch needs to die, how are we going to do it?'"

She said at the time that blocking the trolls and not getting fixated on what they're saying is the best way to keep sane.

Mental health support for yourself or a loved one can be found by calling Lifeline on 13 11 14, Mensline on 1300 789 978, or Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800. Online support is available via Beyond Blue.

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