'Hunk of meat': Sean Plunket slams objectification of Mike McRoberts

Sean Plunket is calling out the objectification of Mike McRoberts after he was labelled a "sex symbol".

On Sunday, Stuff ran an article casting a lusty gaze at the Newshub anchor and his rippling abs. It also included a list of nicknames allegedly used for McRoberts, including "McDaddy" and "McSpunk".

But Plunket says this isn't okay, and asks if there's a double standard in calling McRoberts a sex symbol.

"He is being objectified as a man," he said on his Magic Talk show on Monday.

"How many men find this distasteful? If we did it to a woman and we published an article about how someone was hot in the age of #MeToo, wouldn't there be a huge outcry, wouldn't there be an outrage?"

Ever since the Newshub newsreader was snapped displaying his chiselled torso at a beach last year, both men and women have lasciviously commented on his physical features.

Since McRoberts began displaying his tanned and rock-hard abs in the TV promos for the new season of Dancing with the Stars NZ, the attention has only grown.

On Twitter he's been variously described as "fine", "NZ's daddy", "daddy af", and a "good looking silver fox".

But McRoberts says he's reluctant to embrace his new sex symbol status. He spoke to host Sharyn Casey during Sunday's premiere episode in April, saying it's weird he's become a bit of a sex symbol.

"It's just crazy. I think I'll just carry on doing the news and the abs can go off and do their own thing. Maybe their own show?" he says.

Plunket insists he's not driven by jealousy of McRoberts, and accuses older woman of treating him like an object.

"Mike seems a nice guy, he's my age, 53, 54, but apparently he's hot," he says.

"I don't want to see someone like Mike, who's been an excellent newsreader for all these years, objectified. Reduced to just being a hunk of meat for cougars to perve at.

"Essentially what we saw from Stuff was the equivalent of a media wolf-whistle over the weekend and I'm not sure how Mike is going to take this. He smiled, he did the interview, but I'm not sure that he feels entirely comfortable being objectified to this extent."