Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has discussed Barry Humphries, his upcoming state funeral and gender identity in a baffling interview slammed by LGBTQIA+ advocates.
Barry Humphries died last month at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney aged 89 following complications from hip surgery.
“There will be a state funeral for Barry Humphries as well, co-hosted by the New South Wales and the Victorian government and the Australian government. My government will be a part of that as well,” he said.
“He’s someone who gave an enormous amount of pleasure to generations of Australians. I know that a range of people who are friends of mine knew him very well.
“I know how warmly he was regarded by people in Australia and the UK.”
Anthony Albanese said Barry Humphries was a “quintessential Australian character”.
“Barry Humphries could only have come from Australia. What Barry Humphries would say as taking the piss out of ourselves and he did it so well and for such a long period of time, so it was a big loss,” he said.
Why is Albanese appearing with Piers Morgan at all, let alone to talk about ‘cancel culture’ and ‘gender’? https://t.co/zSA10BVkgq
— Alastair Lawrie (@alawriedejesus) May 2, 2023
In the interview, Piers Morgan again blasted the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for what he described as “the worst kind of cancel culture” by removing Barry Humphries’ name from a top comedy award.
Barry Humphries had described gender transition as “a fashion,” gender-affirming surgery as “self-mutilation,” trans women as “mutilated men” and inclusive education as “pretty evil”.
But Albanese declined to weigh in on whether the festival “cancelled” Barry Humphries.
“I’m not going to go into the past because I wasn’t a part of it. I was never aware that that occurred,” he told Piers Morgan.
“But I’ll say this, it’s good that a tribute is now being made to Barry Humphries. And there will be a state funeral for Barry.”
Albanese went on, “People can legitimately put forward their concerns about someone’s comments that were made then but, at the same time, I think that we’ve got to be able to laugh at ourselves.
“The idea of cancel culture is in my view a sad development because you often can get as well pile-ons on social media. You see it happen so often and things are taken out of context.”
Piers Morgan asks Albanese ‘what is a woman?’
Piers Morgan then pressed Albanese, pointing out Humphries got in “hot water” for his anti-trans comments.
The UK host at one point asked the Prime Minister, “What is a woman, Prime Minister?”
“An adult female,” Albanese replied.
The Prime Minister went on, “I respect people for whoever they are. And it’s up to people to be respected.
“There was recently a very controversial visit in Australia that was designed to stir up issues. And young people coming to terms with their identity and who they are, I think they need to be respected as well.”
Here’s the PM last year being asked the same question – what is a woman – and giving the same answer he gave on the bad UK show – it was a dumb question then, it’s even more hateful now and that the leader of our country is legitimising this is https://t.co/C9Zj2ZvU03
— Amy Remeikis (@AmyRemeikis) May 2, 2023
Anthony Albanese slammed for Piers Morgan interview
Piers Morgan then asked the Prime Minister about “this issue of transgender athletes in women’s sport”.
Albanese replied, “In Australia, the sporting codes are able to deal with that. And they have, effectively.
“They’ve done so in a way in which, during the last campaign, there was a candidates chosen who tried to make that issue front and centre.
“As I’ve gone around, my son played junior sport both football, as in soccer, and Australian Rules Football and cricket. None of these issues ever came up. And I don’t think they’re front and centre.
“In Australia, the sporting codes said themselves, ‘We’re dealing with this, we don’t need this to be politicised’.
“What shouldn’t be done is to try to politicise an issue that should be made on its merits, based upon the proper assessment of whether it’s fair or not. But done in a way as well, that doesn’t seek to essentially target a very vulnerable group. That’s my concern.”
You don’t get to march with us in Mardi Gras and then ignore us when things get tricky for you. Get a spine, and stop mumbling platitudes in an attempt to placate the transphobes. https://t.co/dC6cYQ4VnD
— Stephen Bates (@stephenbatesmp) May 3, 2023
Albanese ‘sucking up to right-wing provocateurs’
But Just.Equal Australia slammed Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s for “sucking up” to Piers Morgan and “repeatedly failing to defend trans women” in the interview.
Spokesperson Sally Goldner said Anthony Albanese failed to state trans women are women when asked by Piers Morgan to define a woman, and appeared to endorse recent decisions by some sports codes to exclude trans women from elite competition.
“Trans and gender diverse Australians need a Prime Minister who will defend them, not one who sucks up to right-wing provocateurs,” Goldner said.
She said the organisation will write to PM to urge his government to set up an advisory committee led by trans and gender diverse people.
“The committee will ensure ministers across the board, from justice, through health and sport to the Prime Minister himself, understand the problems faced by trans and gender diverse Australians and what kind of policies and laws will ensure we are treated equally and inclusively,” Sally said.
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