‘Always gonna have their back:’ News 6′s Matt Austin discusses viral video defending daughters on Inside Edition

Austin and his daughters spoke about their experience with trolls

News 6 anchor Matt Austin discusses viral TikTok message defending his daughters on homecoming night.

ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 anchor Matt Austin appeared on Inside Edition on Monday to discuss his viral video in defense of his daughters that has grabbed headlines from across the U.S. and overseas.

The segment, which aired around 7:50 p.m. on CBS, featured Austin flanked by his daughters as they discussed the series of events that have happened over the last few weeks.

“These kids mean the world to me, so when you kind of put them in the crossfire, it drives me crazy,” Austin said.

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On Oct. 8, Austin posted a photo of himself with his two daughters who were dressed for their homecoming dance.

“I thought it was innocent,” he said. “I posted just a picture of me with two of my daughters. It is the first time they’re both going to homecoming — because one’s a freshman, one’s a senior. I always post a picture, whether it’s homecoming or prom, and did not think twice about it.”

The online post generated hundreds of comments, many of which were negative comments about the way his daughters were dressed.

“I look in and I see the people who say, ‘I would never let my daughter go out in that,’ ‘My father would not let me,’ ‘I would never be in that kind of outfit around my father’ — insinuating that I’m a bad father,” Austin said.

“Some of them [comments] were really hateful, like surprisingly hateful,” Austin’s 17-year-old daughter Addison said when asked how she felt about the online comments directed at her family.

Austin took to social media a second time to post a TikTok video response to the people who attacked his family. His video response has been viewed more 6 million times since it was posted to TikTok.


A dad responds to Karens taking aim at teen daughters’ Homecoming dresses. #fashiontiktok #parentsoftiktok -#fypシ #hoco

♬ original sound - mattja83

“So I put up what I thought was a pretty innocuous post about my daughters looking beautiful for homecoming, but you would be shocked about some of the comments,” Austin’s TikTok post begins.

The video then transitions to several of the negative comments left on his Facebook post.

“One thing that has always pissed me off as a father of girls is when people say things like, ‘Oh, these girls need to dress so they don’t distract the boys,’ or even worse, ‘They’re dressing in a way in which they’re asking for it,’” the video continues. “Let’s get something crystal clear now, it’s not my daughter’s job to make sure your son is focused in school. It’s also not her job for her to dress hideous enough to where your son doesn’t assault her.”

Austin wraps the video by turning the criticism back on the trolls who had gone after his family.

“You know what would really disappoint me? If my girls grew up to be the kind of adult who goes on social media and demeans a teen’s appearance on her father’s Facebook page. Now that’s what I call trashy,” he said.

Before posting the video, Austin got the blessing of his daughters.

“I said, ‘What do you think of this? I don’t know what will happen with this, but I don’t want to embarrass you,’” he said. “The response I got was, ‘This might be a little embarrassing, but you’re right, go ahead and do it.’”

The viral attention was soon picked by Austin’s colleagues in the media. Versions of the story have appeared in numerous outlets, including:

Even some well-known blogs ran with the story, such as:

“It’s really impossible to keep up with,” Austin said. “Every few seconds, there’s another five comments. It’s been weird. I’m used to people commenting on my things, but usually, my focus on social media is somebody else’s story. So having the focus on me and my family has been a little disjointed.”

Disjointed, but not disappointing.

“I’ve been overwhelmed by the positivity,” he said.

When asked on Inside Edition what the lesson learned was, Austin replied, “I hope the one thing my girls take away from this is that no matter whoever comes for them — whether it’s internet tolls, whether it’s lions and tigers and bears — their dad is always gonna have their back. One hundred percent.”

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About the Authors:

Jacob joined ClickOrlando.com in 2022. He spent 19 years at the Orlando Sentinel, mostly as a photojournalist and video journalist, before joining Spectrum News 13 as a web editor and digital journalist in 2021.

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.