Australian presenters to be investigated for ‘anti-gay’ remarks
Two Australian sports commentators are facing an investigation by the New South Wales anti-discrimination board for their remarks about men’s figure skating.
Mike Molloy and Eddie McGuire made the remarks last week during the Winter Olympics men’s figure skating contest.
They joked about the sexual orientation of the contestants and made a quip about flamboyant US skater Johnny Weir being gay.
Australian gay rights activist Gary Burns made an official complaint about the remarks, while Channel Nine also received angry emails about the pair.
Molloy had said: “They don’t leave anything in the locker room these blokes do they?”
McGuire interrupted: “They don’t leave anything in the closet either do they?”
Molloy then joked that McGuire could get into trouble for the comment but then said described another skater’s costume as something even singer Prince would not wear.
Another competitor’s costume was described by McGuire as “a bit of a broke back” – a reference to the gay cowboy film Brokeback Mountain.
Burns told AAP that the pair should apologise for their comments.
He said: “These hired goons were not down at the pub drinking flat beer with their mates, they were on national television being viewed by millions of Australians.
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“On Mardi Gras eve the board’s decision to accept this complaint is a timely reminder to homophobes like McGuire and Molloy they won’t get away with vilifying homosexuals.”
Weir, the figure skater who was the butt of Molloy and McGuire’s jokes, has refused to comment on whether he is gay.
He was also a target of French commentators who suggested he should take a gender test. The Quebec Gay and Lesbian Council has demanded an apology from French channel RDS for the remarks, which it said were “outrageous” and “homophobic”.
Weir told a press conference this week that he believed in free speech and did not want to see the broadcasters punished.
But he added: “I want them to think before they speak. I want them to think about not only the person they’re talking about, but also other people like that person.
“What people as a majority need to do is think, and think about who they’re affecting. … I don’t want, 50 years from now, more boys and girls to go through this same thing.”