Today show reporter Brooke Boney has hailed the decision to remove controversial politician Pauline Hanson as a guest on the Channel Nine breakfast show, branding the senator’s derogatory comments about the thousands in hard lockdown inside nine public housing towers as “disgusting”.
The One Nation leader was removed from the network on Monday following her appearance on the breakfast show earlier in the day when she labelled “a lot of” the people under police guard in Australia’s most restrictive coronavirus measure yet as “drug addicts” and “alcoholics”.
Boney, who is Indigenous, said on Monday’s Q&A she felt “completely heartbroken” to hear Senator Hanson’s comments on the Today show.
“I grew up in housing commission. To me, I was thinking about all of those kids sitting at home watching, all of those people trapped in their apartments, watching and thinking, ‘This is what Australia thinks of us’,” Boney said.
“And it’s disgusting”.
Boney said Ms Hanson had overstepped the mark by using her appearance on the Today show to “vilify people” and to be “deliberately mean and mean-spirited”.
“She says hurtful things about Aboriginal people as well that upset me,” Boney said.
“I am so happy to see her gone.”
Yet fellow Q&A guest Shadow Federal Minister Environment and Water Terri Butler said Senator Hanson’s controversial outlook was nothing new.
“She’s been a public racist since 1996,” she said.
“She used her first maiden speech to say that we were in danger of being swamped by Asians and used her second speech saying we were in danger of being swamped by Muslims.”
Ms Butler said shows such as Today and Sunrise had been “platforming her”, a move, ex-Liberal MP Christopher Pyne said, was down to ratings.
“Ratings is very much the pre-eminent priority of those kinds of shows, or most commercial television, because they want to sell advertising,” he said.
“So Pauline Hanson does very well for ratings, because she’ll say these kinds of totally inappropriate things.”
Pauline Hanson defiant despite criticism
In response to Channel Nine’s statement, which called Senator Hanson’s comments “ill-informed and divisive”, the One Nation leader brushed off her axing from the show.
“I couldn't care less about whether I go on Channel 9 or not,” she told Sky News’s Andrew Bolt.
“As long as I'm a member of parliament, I'm going to keep speaking out and saying what I feel, what needs to be said if we're going to have a cohesive society.”
Senator Hanson insisted she was not racist.
Boney has been a vocal public figure in Australia in recent weeks as the Black Lives Matter movement swept the world last month.
She also questioned the decision to remove TV shows from streaming services which include blackface, stressing there needed to be a concerted effort moving forward to end racial inequality.
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