Scott Morrison has apologised for his cooked comments about being “blessed” for having children who are not disabled. But he only directly apologised to one person with a disability: Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott.
Scotty (Fired From) Marketing strikes again! ICYMI Morrison faced off against Labor leader Anthony Albanese in a televised debate on Wednesday night. During the debate a woman called Catherine, whose son has autism, asked about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
“Jenny and I have been blessed. We’ve got two children who haven’t had to go through that,” Morrison told her.
“And so for parents with children who are disabled, I can only try to understand.”
Morrison was obviously immediately slammed for describing himself as “blessed” for not having disabled kids. Many people with disabilities and advocates called out the ignorance and ableism of Morrison’s comments — including AOTY and Paralympian Dylan Alcott.
“Woke up this morning feeling very blessed to be disabled — I reckon my parents are pretty happy about it too,” Dylan posted on Thursday morning.
Woke up this morning feeling very blessed to be disabled – I reckon my parents are pretty happy about it too.— Dylan Alcott (@DylanAlcott) April 20, 2022
Feeling sorry for us and our families doesn’t help. Treating us equally, and giving us the choice and control over our own lives does
Scott Morrison has since addressed the comments and apologised to Dylan specifically.
“I accept that it has caused offence to people and to learn and I have been in contact today and I apologised directly to Dylan about that,” Morrison said at a press conference in Queensland on Thursday afternoon.
Ah yes, apologising to the Australian of the Year but not extending that apology to other disabled Australians? Now that’s embarrassingly on brand for the PM.
He then offered a broader apology for the way he communicated the sentiment. But he also partially blamed… the people calling him out about his language.
“I think people would also appreciate that I would have had no such intention of suggesting that anything other than every child is a blessing is true,” he said.
“But I can appreciate particularly that some of the ways it was communicated, and the way it was sought to be represented by our political opponents in the middle of an election, that it could have been taken in different context and I’m deeply sorry about that.”
Why is it so hard to just own it and say “sorry, I fucked up”?
Morrison shouldn’t be “deeply sorry” because his words “could have been taken in a different context”. He should be sorry because his words caused harm. But it looks like all that PR training hasn’t helped him develop any actual empathy.