Local News

Q&A 'transphobic' tweets outrage viewers

The ABC has defended its decision to publish controversial tweets about Catherine McGregor live on air on its Q & A program last night.

Cate McGregor. © The Australian Women's Weekly. Photography by Michelle Holden.
The "transphobic" tweets, which were labelled by viewers as "disrespectful" and "offensive", prompted many to demand a public apology.
Cate, who started her military career as Malcolm, is the highest ranking trans woman military official in the world. As a well-respected and intelligent Lieutenant, Cate was asked to appear on the program to discuss Australia conducting air strikes in Iraq and her own personal story on being transgender.
Towards the end of the program, two tweets flashed up on the television. One read: "Wow, he/she is a hero #QandA". The other was: "God sets our gender, we shouldn't interfere #qanda".
The comments were immediately met with anger.
"Hey @QandA - do you pay any notice to the tweets you air on #qanda? "He/She" blunder disrespectful and offensive. An apology is in order," Heather Poole tweeted.
"Wholly inappropriate #QandA. Very moving to hear of Catherine's journey, Totally unnecessary to undermine her story," Nick Spurway wrote.
An ABC spokeswoman told news.com.au that tweets selected to be published "reflect the diverse range of opinion in the Q & A audience”.
"They are not expected to be in agreement with the views of panellists, but are expected to fall within our guidelines," the spokeswoman said.
"We believe the tweets you identify meet those guidelines and were appropriate for broadcast."

read more from