The Today Show entertainment reporter Brooke Boney said she is “so happy” to see One Nation leader Pauline Hanson cut from regular appearances on the program, after the politician’s viciously racist attack on Melbourne public housing tenants facing strict coronavirus lockdowns.
Appearing on Q+A Monday night, Boney said she felt “completely heartbroken” after hearing Hanson denigrate those Melbourne residents as “drug addicts” from “non-English speaking backgrounds” who didn’t follow social distancing guidelines.
“I grew up in housing commission,” Boney said.
“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. This is what the rest of our country thinks, is that we’re alcoholics and drug addicts.
“And that’s disgusting.”
Boney, a Gamilaroi woman, also shone a spotlight on Hanson’s history of racism towards Indigenous Australians.
While Boney defended the right of contentious opinions to receive a platform on shows like Today or Q+A, she drew the line at comments which end up “causing division and vilifying a whole group of people.”
That comment received some pushback from Labor MP Terri Butler, who described Hanson as a “public racist since 1996,” and former Liberal MP Christopher Pyne suggested Hanson was permitted a televised soapbox for so long because racist bullshit draws an audience.
Boney turned that around, saying that Hanson’s comments, unfortunately, do reflect the genuine views of some Australians.
“Go and look at the comments on the internet,” she said.
“They support her. She hasn’t put herself there, these people elected her. They believe what she believes.
“There may be a certain portion who are led along by her, but a lot of them wholeheartedly believe what she believes.”
What can be done to protect the residents of Melbourne’s locked down towers from further vilification? And what can be to ensure these residents have access to daily necessities? #QandA pic.twitter.com/5u5kLbJz5I— QandA (@QandA) July 6, 2020
You can catch the full Q+A episode here.
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