‘Terrifying’: Hamish Macdonald shares his own ‘outing’ ordeal

hamish macdonald rebel wilson the project outing sydney morning herald gay lesbian bisexual
Images: Ten, Instagram

The Project host Hamish Macdonald has weighed in on the backlash over the Sydney Morning Herald‘s treatment of Rebel Wilson, revealing he has been in the same “terrifying” position before.

Rebel Wilson confirmed her relationship with girlfriend Ramona Agruma in an Instagram post last week.

But at the weekend the Sydney Morning Herald attracted global outrage after a columnist revealed he’d given the actress 48 hours to respond to his enquiry about her relationship.

Herald gossip columnist Andrew Hornery complained in an extraordinary article that Wilson had “gazumped” his scoop with her own post. The article was later removed and Horney issued an apology on Monday.

Reacting to the scandal on The Project, Hamish Macdonald recalled the scrutiny around his own sexuality and said he’d faced a similar “terrifying” situation behind the scenes.

In 2019, Hamish Macdonald publicly confirmed he was in a relationship with partner Jacob Fitzroy.

“For people coming to terms with their sexuality, that may be something they wake up and realise some day. It may be something that’s a very long journey,” he said.

“And I don’t think it’s for anyone else to determine the point at which they talk about that.

“I’ve been on the end of this sort of thing with a couple of journalists before.

“And it’s scary and intimidating and frankly terrifying when a journalist starts saying to you that they know this about you, and they want to put it in print.

Hamish Macdonald went on, “I take at their word what this journo said about learning from it. Maybe in 2022 this is something we can all learn from.

“Particularly when it comes to people thinking about, learning about and understanding their own identity.

“It’s a story for them to tell at a time and in a circumstance of their choosing. And to Rebel, good on you, really happy.”

Rebel Wilson says situation was ‘very hard’

Wilson addressed the controversy herself at the weekend, tweeting that “it was a very hard situation but trying to handle it with grace.”

On Monday, the Sydney Morning Herald pulled the column and writer Andrew Hornery issued a grovelling apology for its “tone” after the worldwide backlash.

Hornery claimed the “deadline” for Wilson to comment on her new relationship was a “big mistake” and not an ultimatum to pressure her into coming out.

It was, he said, to “open a conversation” about her relationship.

“I have learned some new and difficult lessons from this and want to be upfront with you about the things I got wrong,” he said.

“The Herald and I will approach things differently from now on to make sure we always take into consideration the extra layer of complexities people face when it comes to their sexuality.

“I genuinely regret that Rebel has found this hard. That was never my intention. But I see she has handled it all with extraordinary grace.

“As a gay man I’m well aware of how deeply discrimination hurts. The last thing I would ever want to do is inflict that pain on someone else.”

US talk show hosts blast Rebel Wilson outing scandal

But the Herald’s actions didn’t go down well on US talk show The View, with co-host Whoopi Goldberg blasting the situation as “insane”.

“There’s a lot of speculation that [Wilson posted] to get ahead of a tabloid story in the Sydney Morning Herald about her relationship,” she said.

“Now, the man who wrote it even apologised, saying it was ‘never his intention to out her’. Well, you know that’s not true, because if it wasn’t your intention you wouldn’t have done it.

“If you didn’t want to do it, you shouldn’t have done it. You knew exactly what you were doing.”

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

1 Comment

  1. Peter Turner
    16 June 2022

    I cannot believe that a gay gossip columnist didn’t understand the difficulty LGBTQI + people face in trying to navigate the coming out process.

    And a gay editor authorised the story. Both should hang their heads in shame.

    Just because Rebel Wilson is a celebrity and public figure does NOT make her “fair game”.

    This makes me so angry.

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