Victorian Liberal MP and Shadow Assistant Minister for Autism Bernie Finn has issued an apology after posting an ableist meme about Premier Dan Andrews.
Finn took to Facebook on Friday afternoon to apologise, asserting that he has “never set out to deliberately insult or offend anyone with a disability.”
Last night, I posted a meme that has caused some concern in certain quarters. I removed the meme early this morning when…
“Last night, I posted a meme that has caused some concern in certain quarters. I removed the meme early this morning when it became clear some had taken genuine offence,” the post began.
Finn used the excuse of experiencing disability in his family, seemingly as a reason why he could not possibly be ableist. But much like being friends with POC doesn’t excuse you from racism, knowing and loving people with disabilities doesn’t mean you can’t make ableist comments.
However, he then clarified that “it was in no way meant as a deliberate slight.”
“I offer my sincere apology to those who were genuinely offended and/or distressed by the post. I assure you it was in no way meant as a deliberate slight. To those who are today using people with disabilities and their families as a political weapon, you have my most fulsome contempt. You should all be deeply ashamed,” he said.
The meme in question seemingly intended to poke fun at Dan Andrews, but ended up offending many people who suffer from, or know someone who suffers from a disability in the process.
“No argument here,” he captioned the meme, which wasn’t removed from social media until Friday morning.
Understandably, the meme – which was far from funny – angered a plethora of people on social media, with many pointing out how grossly inappropriate it was coming from an MP whose job it is to protect and serve those with a disability.
Bernie Finn’s office is yet to reply to PEDESTRIAN.TV’s request for comment.