Geelong star and Brownlow Medal favourite Patrick Dangerfield has slammed Sam Newman after the AFL Footy Show panellist’s transphobic “gag” on Wednesday night’s show.
Newman was forced to apologise for his lewd comments which came when fellow panellist Billy Brownless asked if he knew who Caitlyn Jenner was when a banner appeared on screen with her face on it.
“I know who he … it is,” Newman said. “Oh well, what is she? Is it a he or a she?”
Co-host Rebecca Maddern tried to steer Newman down the right path, saying: “He is a she now.”
He responded: “Is it transgender, is it? Or what is it?” he said before co-host Craig Hutchison moved quickly off the topic.
Dangerfield told KIIS101.1’s Matt & Meshel that Newman was “irrelevant”.
“The show itself, apart from (co-host) Bec (Maddern), who’s wonderful — I haven’t watched it for a while and I thought Sam was well off the mark, well out of line.”
When asked if it’s time for Channel Nine to part ways with Newman, Dangerfield offered: “I think anyone can do it. You use your remote.”
— Angie Greene (@Ange_Greene) June 21, 2017
Karen Field, chief executive of Drummond Street Services which works with the LGBTIQ community, was furious with how frivolously Newman’s comments were thrown out without any concern for the impact they would have.
“It’s disgraceful that those comments are sent out there without any sense of ownership for how they might impact a vulnerable community,” she said.
“It’s no accident that Brownless stitched that up in order for Sam. Sam is so predictable in terms of the rubbish that comes out of his mouth it almost doesn’t bear to make a comment about his … behaviour.
“But it was obvious to all who watched that program last night that Sam was set up to say what he did.”
Co-convener of the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, Dale Park, said Newman’s latest scandal wasn’t surprising, and also laid the boot into the Nine network for allowing the “cheap set-up” to go ahead.
“Unfortunately I wasn’t surprised by the comments from Sam Newman. He has a history of commenting on women and gay men, and he has a history of blackface,” Park told News Corp.
“It felt like a cheap set-up to get a laugh at the expense of people not there to defend themselves.
“You feel angry when … people in positions of power and authority think they can use them (vulnerable communities) as a cheap stunt or cheap set-up.
“It also needs to be looked at why it was created in the first place and why Channel Nine chose to show it.
“Nothing was by accident. They knew the reaction it was going to get — it seems like it was purposeful and designed to create hurt and laughter which is unacceptable.”
Executive director of Transgender Victoria Sally Goldner joined the chorus of condemnation, saying “enough is enough” when it comes to such “inappropriate” perspectives.
She called for “pretty severe consequences” and demanded stronger leadership when it comes to protecting the trans community.
“We have a right to draw a very firm line in the sand on this sort of thing,” she said. “It needs leadership from across the community more than wishy washy comments to condemn this attitude.
“Enough, enough, enough.”
Newman issued a statement yesterday, saying: “I regret the comments I made about Caitlyn Jenner. What I said was not appropriate and I’m sorry to anyone offended.”