Sky News Apologises After Broadcasting “Appalling Comments” About Senator

Sky News Australia has apologised to South Australia Senator Sarah Hanson-Young after broadcasting “appalling comments” directed at her by Senator David Leyonhjelm. 

In a statement posted to their Twitter account this afternoon, Sky News apologised for highlighting the comments on-screen. As a result, the producer responsible was suspended pending an internal investigation.

Journalist Shannon Molloy had been watching the Outsiders program, featuring Leyonhjelm, alongside hosts Rowan Dean and Ross Cameron. Molloy had been watching the broadcast in a Qantas lounge when he posted an image from the program to his Twitter captioned “This show is disgusting and the once-great channel that bothers broadcasting it should be ashamed.” 

The highlighted comment made by Leyonhjelm reads, “Sarah Hanson-Young is known for liking men the rumours about her in parliament are well known.”

Earlier this week during a motion about violence against women and rape, Leyonhjelm told Hanson-Young “you should stop shagging men, Sarah.” 

The comments happened during a vote on Thursday on whether or not nonlethal weapons (like tasers and pepper spray) should be allowed as a self-defence for women.

Hanson-Young voted no because she doesn’t think women should continue to take responsibility for the violent crimes committed against them. The senator doesn’t believe more weapons on the streets are an appropriate solution, either.

The motion was defeated 46 votes to five.

Following the vote, Hanson-Young says Leyonhjelm yelled the disgusting comments to her across the Senate chamber.

After being told to “Fuck off”, Hanson-Young informed her party leader and the Senate President but Leyonhjelm still refused to apologise.

In an opinion piece for The Guardian Hanson-Young wrote:

Yesterday when I confronted Senator Leyonhjelm, and even after being asked by my party leader and the Senate president, he refused to apologise. I knew I had no other choice than to put what had occurred on the record. Otherwise he would have forever known that I didn’t call him out, and that I hadn’t stood up for myself.

Leyonhjelm told the ABC he would not be withdrawing his remarks.

Molloy has since started a petition demanding Qantas to take Sky News off their screens. 334 people have already signed the petition.