Outing Rebel: Sydney Morning Herald parties like it’s 1978

outing rebel sydney morning herald
Image: SMH articles 1978 & 2022

Outing Rebel Wilson or any other celebrity is just plain wrong whatever spin journalists try to put on it. On February 24, 2016, the Sydney Morning Herald published a public apology for outing 53 people in a June 27, 1978 article, and another 104 subsequently. But now in 2022, the paper claims it’s ok to ask Rebel Wilson about her new partner, knowing the partner to be female and knowing the actress is not out — for a f_cking gossip column.

“We would have asked the same questions had Wilson’s new partner been a man.”

But the new partner is not a man — and that is a crucial f_cking difference!

UPDATE: AT 1.44 pm June 13, the Sydney Morning Herald posted that they had deleted the article and the journalist had apologised.

Outing like it’s 1978

In 1978, the Sydney Morning Herald published the names, addresses and occupations of gay rights protestors. (Check out the original article below,)

In 2016, 78er Steve Warren explained the consequences to some of the named people.

“Some 78ers lost jobs, lost family contact and, over the years, some even committed suicide.”

The Sydney Morning Herald‘s 2016 apology justified the mass outing as common practice.

“As was common practice at the time, the press routinely published the full details of people who appeared in court, regardless of the nature of the offence with which they had been charged.”

“It would never happen today.”

The paper said such a thing would never happen today.

“We acknowledge and apologise for the hurt and suffering that reporting caused. It would never happen today.”

But that was 2016. This is 2022.

Sydney Morning Herald editor Bevan Shields yesterday denied the paper tried to out the actor.

“Our weekly Private Sydney celebrity column last week asked Wilson if she wished to comment about her new partner. We would have asked the same questions had Wilson’s new partner been a man.

“To say that the Herald ‘outed’ Wilson is wrong. Like other mastheads do every day, we simply asked questions and as standard practice included a deadline for a response. I had made no decision about whether or what to publish, and the Herald’s decision about what to do would have been informed by any response Wilson supplied.”

Whatever the paper says, placing pressure on a person to out themselves before they are ready is wrong. And what about Rebel Wilson’s girlfriend, Ramona Agruma? Is she simply collateral damage?

Outing Rebel Wilson

It does not matter what we personally think of Rebel Wilson’s talent, personality, recent weight loss or any other bloody thing.

She has broken no laws. She appears not to have undertaken any hideous bigoted campaigns against the queer or any other communities.

Rebel Wilson owns the right to come out, when and if she pleases — on her own f_cking terms.

Fox Sports presenter Megan Barnard addressed outing following her own involuntary outing earlier this year.

“Coming out is a process and should never be taken out of someone’s hand.”

27 Jun 1978, Tue The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, New South Wales, New South Wales, Australia) Newspapers.com

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Destiny Rogers

Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at destinyr@qnews.com.au.

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  1. Yolande Stiffel
    13 June 2022

    How dare the media, or for the same reason, any person, poke their nose into some one else’s business!!!!
    We are all entitled to be who we are, with whomever we choose ❤️.
    Outing should have no place in society in this day and age. People should be free to live life without explaining their choices to anyone.

  2. Paul
    24 July 2022

    The SMH can keep their pay wall for articles that they call news. Why pay for news when you can get it for free – seriously! #BoycottPayWallNews

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