Australia: TV station defends live transphobic tweets as ‘appropriate for broadcast’
An Australian television station has defended itself from backlash after it aired transphobic tweets on a Q&A panel show.
Cate McGregor, the highest ranking transgender military officer in the world, was the first trans panelist on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) show Q&A.
During the broadcast, tweets were displayed at the bottom block to accompany the speaker’s points of view.
While most tweets were positive and supporting, two of them in particular upset viewers:
Wow she/he is a hero #QandA
— Gerry Attrick (@geoffgcooper) October 13, 2014
A user named @secadvisers also tweeted, “God sets our gender, we shouldn’t interfere,” before deleting their account after complaints.
Several users tweeted in response that ABC’s decision “crossed the line” and was “really inappropriate.”
However, a spokesperson for ABC has since said the tweets met “guidelines and were appropriate for broadcast.”
She said: “The tweets are chosen to reflect the diverse range of opinion in the Q&A audience.
“They are not expected to be in agreement with the views of panelists, but are expected to fall within our guidelines.”
McGregor also said she agreed with ABC’s decision to air the tweets.
She said: “I’ve had far worse things said about me online and I have been overwhelmingly well received.
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“It’s the nature of the show and it’s the nature of social media.
“I’ve got a range of opinions and I respect other people’s right to their opinions. I’m reasonably thick-skinned.”
The apology read: “Many believe that yesterday we presented Mayang’s story in a way that was disrespectful to her memory.
“The Courier-Mail had no intention of diminishing the value of Mayang’s life, or to add to the grief being felt by her family.”