ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 anchor Matt Austin appeared on the Orlando radio show “The Monsters in the Morning” Wednesday to discuss his viral video in defense of his daughters that has grabbed headlines from across the world.
Host Russ Rollins and crew sat down with Austin to recap a wild three and a half weeks since his original Facebook post.
“How has it been dealing with all of this attention from TikTok and social media and the world?” Rollins asked.
“It’s been this crazy experience, Austin replied.”
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Nasty and unwanted comments from viewers and online trolls are an unfortunate part of the business for reporters and anchors, but the vitriol aimed at his daughters and his parenting skills was something that Austin didn’t expect.
Austin was away from the studio lights and cameras of a live broadcast when he found himself confronted by dozens of comments questioning his parenting and the decency of his daughters’ attire.
“But when you come after my kids, man it just hits a nerve that I’m not used to, not accustomed to,” Austin said.
“I posted a little picture of my girls for homecoming. It’s the first time they’re together at homecoming. I have a freshman and a senior, it’s the only time they’ll go to homecoming together.”
“Basically I make this post and we put it on Facebook, we go and take pictures with our friends for a few hours, and I come back to the house, I’m flipping through my phone and I’m like ‘Why do I have hundreds of comments on this?’”
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
The viral video was soon picked by Austin’s colleagues in the media and versions of the story have appeared in numerous outlets around the U.S. and in other countries, including on Monday’s episode of Inside Edition.
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.”
On Wednesday’s radio appearance, Austin said, “I think the most surreal moment of this whole thing was when somebody sent me ‘You’re on TMZ,’ and so I go to TMZ’s main page. This is the day Tom [Brady] and Gisele [Bundchen] broke up, and I scroll past Tom and Gisele and my kids and I are right underneath. And yesterday, George Takei was Tweeting about me.”
Wise words from this wonderfully supportive Dad. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/gRblu7RvHT— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) October 31, 2022
Austin also talked about his advocacy work that helped get the texting and driving law passed in Florida.
Austin told a story from September 2016 when he suffered a severe concussion in a crash involving a suspected distracted driver. He said he was sitting in his vehicle at a traffic light before he heard a really loud sound, “and then I woke up in the intersection,” Austin said.
Austin said that the person that hit him admitted to law enforcement that he was texting while driving.
When Austin asked the police officer from his hospital bed what would be done to the driver, the officer responded that he couldn’t do anything, saying, “I can’t give a ticket for stupid.”
On July 1, 2019, Florida’s law on banning texting-while-driving went into full effect, making texting and driving a primary offense ––meaning that law enforcement has the power to stop vehicles and issue citations to motorists that are texting and driving.
The law states, “A person may not operate a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers or symbols into a wireless communications device to text, email and instant message.”
“It was a long and hard fight,” News 6 anchor Matt Austin said in 2019. “But now after nearly three years, 100 stories, more than a dozen trips to Tallahassee, and thousands of miles driving around Florida to track down decision makers, I am relieved Florida politicians finally did the right thing. They made safety a priority.”
Carlos Navarro – also one of the voices behind “Monsters in the Morning” – recently sat down with Austin and Ginger Gadsden, hosts of the News 6 podcast “Florida’s Fourth Estate”, to talk to Navarro about his ups and downs in the entertainment industry.
What you may not know is that Navarro’s road to Hollywood success involved him losing his hosting gig with The Monsters and overcoming his own monsters to get where he is today.
“Dude, you did so great on that, by the way Carlos,” Austin said.
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