Controversial British media personality Katie Hopkins is reportedly set to pocket a cool A$200,000 after her recent whirlwind trip Down Under.
Hopkins, who was sent home to England after breaching Australia's strict hotel quarantine rules, was expected to make an appearance on Channel 7's Big Brother before being told to pack her bags.
To say Hopkins' recent visit to Australia ruffled some feathers would be an understatement. And it appears the outspoken political commentator was hired for that very reason.
Hopkins caught the attention of authorities after boasting on social media about taunting hotel guards by answering the door naked without wearing a mask. Her presence in Australia as an outspoken provocateur paid to appear on reality TV was a thorn in the side of many, particularly Brits abroad who have not seen their families in two years because of travel restrictions on civilians.
Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said Hopkins' visa was cancelled on Monday night, putting paid to the 46-year-old's filming schedule. But according to the Sydney Morning Herald, she's still taking home stacks of cash.
Endemol Shine, the production company behind Big Brother, has reportedly paid the Brit $200,000 as a result of a "pay or play" provision, which requires actors to be paid their full sum, even if their job is cancelled early.
Channel 7 is also obligated to pay out almost $60,000 for travel expenses, which included business class airfares for the polarising star.
The recent PR fiasco has reportedly generated some headaches for Channel 7 in regards to advertising partners, after anonymous Twitter handle Sleeping Giants waded into the mess. Sleeping Giants specialises in pressuring advertisers to cut ties with media talent they believe to be spreading bigotry. The social media activist group called on Seven stars Sonia Kruger, Natalie Barr and David Koch to make public statements denouncing Hopkins' employment with the company.
The right wing commentator took aim at Australian leaders for plunging states into lockdown, specifically mentioning the recent lockdown in South Australia after five cases of local Covid-19 transmission.
Posting a news article about the lockdown on her Instagram page, Hopkins wrote, "SOUTH AUSTRALIANS. Crucified. Over 5 cases. 5 CASES!," Hopkins began.
"Residents imprisoned in own homes. Exercise must be within 2.5 kilometres of home and only for 90 minutes."
Hopkins then posted a screenshot of a comment left by a South Australian resident on her page, with user 'debraswan22' writing, "Thanks for coming to Australia Katie and attempting to highlight the absurdity of these measures. You give us all hope and encouragement to speak our minds and stick to our guns. Thank you for being our voice."
In response, Hopkins declared, "I will not relent. I will not back down. I will not apologise. Australians must be set free. #FreeAustralia."