News Corp has hit back at Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who spent the morning claiming that the media giant had a sexual harassment scandal of its own and shouldn’t be throwing stones in “glass houses”.
At one of his most chaotic press conferences ever on Tuesday morning, Morrison replied to a Sky News journalist’s question about the outrageously high number of sexual assault, harassment and misconduct claims stacking up against the government by trying to play a verbal UNO reverse card.
“In your own organisation […] there is a person who has had a complaint made against them for harassment of a woman in a women’s toilet and that matter is being pursued by your own HR department,” Morrison baselessly claimed.
“So let’s not all of us who sit in glass houses here start getting into that.”
On Tuesday afternoon, the Executive Chairman of News Corp Australia (which owns Sky News), Michael Miller, issued a stern statement categorically refuting the PM’s claims.
“Prime Minister Scott Morrison was wrong today to claim an investigation is under way into a complaint accusing an employee of harassment against a woman in a female toilet,” Miller said.
“No complaint has been received by News Corp and Sky News are not dealing with a complaint.”
He added that because of all the recent news about sexual assault and harassment against women in the workplace, News Corp HR proactively gave all staff members the opportunity to speak up about their own wellbeing.
News Corp Australia executive chairman Michael Miller replies to Scott Morrison’s comments earlier today pic.twitter.com/pZmFpTvq44
— Kylar Loussikian (@kloussikian) March 23, 2021
Miller did make reference to an otherwise-unrelated incident at Parliament House that emerged from these “proactive conversations” which may have been misconstrued into what the Prime Minister claimed on Tuesday morning.
“The exchange was about a workplace-related issue, it was not of a sexual nature, it did not take place in a toilet and neither person made a complaint,” he said.
“Following those inquiries, our HR team wrote to one of the people involved and the matter was resolved.
“The Prime Minister appears to have joined these two matters and conflated them into an episode of harassment in a toilet that is under current investigation.”
He added that it’s standard practice not to comment on any private matters in order to respect employees’ privacy and confidentiality.
“However given the Prime Minister’s extraordinary public claims made at a press conference broadcast live across the nation, I want to put to rest any suggestion that an employee of our company is being investigated for conduct suggested by Mr Morrison,” he said.
Miller concluded by saying what heaps of us have already been saying all day: that throwing around sexual harassment allegations (even if they’re baseless) on a massive public platform is a total dick move which “undermines the principle that people must be able to raise issues safely and in confidence.”
When News Corp has to call out a Coalition PM like this, you know shit’s hit the fan.