When she realized she was on air, she gave a dramatic gasp before quickly recovering and tossing to the next segment.
Some reports claimed that Exelby was taken off-air as punishment for the flub, but according to a statement from the network’s director of news, Gaven Morris, those reports are not true.
“We take on-air standards extremely seriously, but we don’t expect perfection,”
Morris said. “No one would ever be punished for a blooper and, while it isn’t appropriate to publicly discuss confidential details of people’s personal work arrangements, this has not happened to Natasha.
“Media reports that Natasha has been ‘banned,’ ‘barred’ or ‘fired’ are untrue. Natasha is a freelance journalist who works as a contributor. She has been rostered for various shifts and has been assured since yesterday that we want that to continue. While she is not currently doing any on-air shifts, this will be subject to normal performance management. I have spoken to Natasha and conveyed our regret that this has attracted such attention.”
In 2013, The Advertiser reported that Exelby was reporting at Australia’s Ten Eyewitness News on riots in Brazil and a building collapse in India when a joke from a segment just before gave her what she called “a case of the giggles.” Throughout the segment, Exelby could be heard laughing over footage of those events. She apologized for the outburst before going to a commercial break.
Many journalists took to Twitter to support Exelby after the blooper went viral, sharing their own on-air mistakes to prove no one is perfect.