Grace Tame blasts Albanese for photo-op with Alan Jones: 'Optics aren't good'

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·News Reporter
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Grace Tame has hit out at Anthony Albanese over his interview with media personality Alan Jones.

The Labor leader met with the broadcaster on Monday before sharing a photo on Twitter of the pair shaking hands.

Until now, former Australian of the Year Ms Tame, an advocate for sexual assault survivors, has been a vocal supporter of Mr Albanese, with the pair often seen together in friendly encounters.

But his decision to join Mr Jones on his new digital show — which he recently launched after leaving Sky News in November 2021 — left her fuming.

"Good to chat with Alan Jones today in his new Sydney studios," the opposition leader wrote alongside the image.

Anthony Albanese shaking hands with Alan jones (left), and right, a picture of Grace Tame looking unimpressed during a National Press Club speech.
Anthony Albanese met with radio broadcaster Alan Jones and Grace Tame slammed the decision online. Source: Twitter/AAP

"Yeah nah, this is where you could’ve just frowned and walked off," she replied to Mr Albanese's tweet.

"Or better yet, not done it.

"There are plenty of other ways to broaden your messaging without enabling known agents of sexism and abuse.

"None of us is obliged to speak to bigots. The optics of this aren’t good."

She followed with another brutal shot, adding: "A wasted side-eye moment".

The comment is a nod to her infamous snub towards Scott Morrison earlier this year which saw her giving Mr Morrison a less than friendly handshake before throwing him an icy sideways glance.

The then-Australian of the Year refused to hide her displeasure of being at a morning tea hosted by the prime minister and his wife Jenny at The Lodge in Canberra in January.

Leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese and 2021 Australian of the Year Grace Tame take a selfie after an Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony and Flag Raising event in Canberra.
Until now, Ms Tame and Anothony Albanese have had friendly interactions. Source: AAP

Alan Jones' history of comments about women

Ms Tame's remarks reference Mr Jones' history of controversial comments towards women, including New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

In 2019, while working for 2GB, Mr Jones suggested Australia’s leader Scott Morrison should “shove a sock down her throat” — referring to Ms Ardern who made a comment about Australia's approach to climate change.

He was forced to apologise for the remark following widespread condemnation across social media, with the 81-year-old broadcaster saying his words had suffered from "wilful misinterpretation".

"In this game you’ve got to choose your words carefully and I didn’t do that," he said at the time.

And in 2011, Mr Jones previously drew criticism by suggesting then-prime minister Julia Gillard should be "put into a chaff bag and thrown into the sea".

He was then heard saying her father, who had recently died, had “died of shame”.

Following Ms Tame's comments, Mr Jones said in a statement she is "entitled to her opinion," according to News.com.au.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and 2021 Australian of the Year Grace Tame during a morning tea for state and territory recipients in the 2022 Australian of the Year Awards at The Lodge in Canberra
Ms Tame's icy side-eye towards Mr Morrison went viral earlier this year. Source: AAP

Social media debate ensues

After seeing Ms Tame's remarks online, many jumped to the Labor leader's defence.

"Can't agree. As prospective PM, Albanese has a duty to reach those diametrically opposed to his beliefs," one person responded.

"The show, whether you like Jones or not, allows for this — the possibility of changing hearts & minds. In no way does it enable Jones' behaviours. That's unfair."

"It's politics, not a dinner invitation. He has to try to appeal to different voters. And he cannot be seen to be a 'lefty', as that now has a toxic association. It's tough but that's the reality," another woman wrote.

"Sorry Grace, got to disagree with you for the first time. Albo is vying to become the PM of Australia. How can he attempt to change the rusted-on beliefs of Jones' audience if he doesn’t try to engage with them?, questioned a third.

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