Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sally Miorell, a columnist with the Herald Sun newspaper, wrote an opinion piece about comedian Mick Molloy and sports journalist Eddie McGuire’s commentary during the ice dancing at the Vancover Winter Olympics, and whether, as gay rights activist Gary Burns claims, they incited hatred against homosexuals.

Mick Molloy and Eddie McGuire may soon find t hemselves before the New South Wales Anti Discrimination Board on vilification charges.

They made remarks about male ice dancer, Johnny Weir.

Molloy commented;

“they don’t leave anything in the locker room, these blokes, do they?”,

to which McGuire responded,

“They don’t leave anything in the closet, either, do they?”

They then described another competitor’s costume as “ a bit of Brokeback”, in refernce to the gay cowboy film, Brokeback Mountain.

Morell points out that ‘all McGuire and Molloy did was assume Weir was gay and make a few comments along those lines.’ She then adds that most Australians watching the Winter Olympics would have assumed the same thing, given the heavy makeup and the outfit that Weir wore when he competed.

Before I am accused of being homophobic, it has to be said that we, in our society are conditioned to assume from the outset that any man who dresses the way that Johnny Weir did, is homosexual.

Morell goes on to point out that the gay community themselves panderr to such stereotypes, in events like the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade, and people like Carson Kressley from the television program, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

Morell asks, if this is okay, then how does what McGuire and Molloy said make them criminals?

I do understand that for many people in the community, how it would feel t o be lumped into a certain stereotype because of their identity. As I have grown older, I have learned that I need to accept all kinds of people, and not to pre judge anyone before getting to know then first.

Yet , sexual minorities are not the only one to experience discrimination. What about ethnic groups, those with religious beliefs or the disabled?
Having had to deal with disability myself since the age of fifteen, this is something I am been aware of, since I have been stared at because of how I walk, or been called a ‘retard’, or ‘spastic.’

It seems that the more vocal members of the gay community have dominated public debate about discrimination and vilifiication lately.

Finally, it needs to be understood that certain comments are acceptable when given in the context of comedy, as Mick Molloy was doing during the Winter Olympics.

It is clear that McGuire was just doing his usual style of sports commentary, and Molloy’s comments were no different to the style of comedy that he has been known for, for years.

Whether the NSW Anti Discrimination Board will judge Burns’s complaints the same way, I do not know.

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