Sarah Hanson-Young Seeks Legal Advice Over 'Reprehensible' Sexist Slur
Calls on Leyonhjelm to resign from parliament.
Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young is seeking legal advice following "reprehensible" comments made about her by fellow politician David Leyonhjelm in media broadcasts last weekend.
Last week in parliament, Liberal Democrats senator Leyonhjelm was met with outrage after telling Hanson-Young she should "stop shagging men", in a debate over widening access to pepper spray. The Greens senator confronted Leyonhjelm following his remarks, to which he told her to "f**k off".
Appearing on Monday night's The Project, Hanson-Young confirmed she would be taking any advice her legal team provided.
"I'm pretty serious about this," Hanson-Young said.
"These comments are offensive, they're inflammatory and they're all based on a lie, and they need to be called out."
"Just because you're losing an argument, gives no person, whether they're a member of Parliament or they're a commentator or they're somebody in the privacy of your backyard discussion over a barbecue, nobody has the right to treat a woman like this with such sexist slurs just because they couldn't win the argument on sound facts."
Leyonhjelm also appeared earlier on the show and continued to stand by his comments.
Hanson-Young wrote a piece in The Guardian over the weekend, claiming "anywhere else, a sexist slur like this would land you in hot water, but not in parliament. This is politics in Australia in 2018."
Also over the weekend however, Leyonhjelm was invited to appear on the Outsiders program on Sky News.
The show's hosts Rowan Dean and Ross Cameron have been slammed in recent times for -- among other things -- telling race discrimination commissioner Tim Soutphommasane to "go back to Laos", and referring to the NSW Liberal Party as "basically a gay club" and the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper as "the Sydney Morning Homosexual".
In Sunday's broadcast on Outsiders, Leyonhjelm defended his earlier claims, and a shocking quote of his was displayed by Sky in a graphic on-screen.
The backlash was swift, with countless people slamming Sky and Outsiders for not only inviting Leyonhjelm on to the show, but for further highlighting his quote. A petition was also organised calling on Qantas to stop showing Sky broadcasts in its public transit areas, which has attracted nearly 4000 signatures as of time of writing.
Sky hosts condemned the broadcast and program. David Speers said the comments were "unacceptable" and "sexism", Ashleigh Gillon called out the "sexist slurs", and Janine Perrett slammed Leyonhjelm himself.
Former Sky anchor Peter Van Onselen said the Outsiders program was "disgraceful". Other journalists called the broadcast "vile" and the men involved "misogynists".
Sky later tweeted a producer had been suspended, and apologised to Hanson-Young. However, on Monday, the senator said she was considering her legal options in regards to both Sky News and 3AW radio.
"I am seeking legal advice in relation to the commentary between Senator David Leyonhjelm and the hosts of both the Sky News Outsiders program and 3AW Weekend Breakfast broadcast on Sunday, July 1," she said in a statement.
"Comments made by Senator Leyonhjelm about me and broadcast on these two shows are reprehensible, hurtful, and no woman, whether in public or in the privacy of her own home deserves them."
She called on Leyonhjelm to resign.
"I believe he has proven himself incapable of showing respect and is unfit to represent not only women, but all decent Australians, in our nation’s Parliament," Hanson-Young wrote.
"I would like to thank the many people who have reached out in support overnight. Thank you for all the words of support and care, they mean a lot to me."
"It is a sad reflection on society that even in 2018, attacks like these occur to women after they have spoken out about sexism, sexual harassment and abuse in their workplace and daily lives."
"It is greatly disappointing and it sends a damaging message to our community that Senator Leyonhjelm has been given multiple platforms to continue making these harmful remarks."