Marc Fennell Apologises To Folks With Down Syndrome After Offensive Joke On ‘The Project’

The Feed host Marc Fennell has apologised after joking about genetic conditions including Down Syndrome on The Project last Thursday.

In a segment about an American vlogger making beans on toast, Fennell joked that the woman was “missing a chromosome”.

Chromosomes are an essential component of human DNA, and chromosomal abnormalities can lead to genetic conditions like Down Syndrome.

He has since apologised both publicly and individually to those who called him out, as well as to the families of those with Down Syndrome and other conditions.

“So, last Thursday I went on The Project and offhandedly said something which I have since realised was an appalling ableist comment,” he wrote.

“Pretty much the moment I got off air I’ve been trying to personally respond to everyone who has messaged me.

“Ableism like this is not what I’m about and I hope you believe that I can and will do better.”

In a message to the private T21 Mum Australia Network Faceook, Fennell added that he didn’t make the connection to disability until after the show had aired.

The apology comes after he was publicly called out by former AFLW player and Survivor Australia contestant Moana Hope, whose sister, Lavinia, has Möbius syndrome.

“Lavinia’s missing a chromosome and so many other people are missing chromosomes and I cannot believe he used it as an example of dumb and stupid,” she said in a video on Instagram.

Hope is a full-time carer for her younger sister and even set up a day school for people with with disabilities.

It was this “ferocity of their love” which Fennell says “humbled” him in the wake of his comments.