Senator Sarah Hanson-Young isn’t one to back down when it comes to calling out sexist comments or inappropriate behaviour, having named and shamed fellow politician Senator David Leyonhjelm during a speech in the chamber earlier this year.
But now the 36-year-old Greens politician has been forced to issue a formal apology to radio host Ray Hadley after she wrongly blamed him for making gender-based comments about former Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Speaking to 3Aw’s Neil Mitchell on Tuesday, Hanson-Young accused Hadley, 64, of supporting sexist statements that were made about Gillard during her time in The Lodge, such as “ditch the witch”, despite the presenter telling her she was mistaken.
“The nastiest attacks are reserved for women, over and over again,” she said. “The things that Ray Hadley said about Julia Gillard, he’s never said about male Prime Ministers.”
Speaking on his 3AW show today, Hadley discussed Hanson-Young’s comments and revealed that his lawyers had been in touch with her legal representatives.
He said: “She got it completely wrong as she has on many other occasions. She’s blamed the wrong person, it was in fact, another broadcaster on this network who said a whole range of things on-air. Today, our lawyers have spoken to her lawyers and she’s indicated she’ll offer a written apology.”
The veteran broadcaster went on to say that he accepted the South Australian senator’s apology, which read: “On Tuesday, 2nd October 2018, I was interviewed by 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.
“During the course of the interview I associated Ray Hadley with gender-based comments and slogans used on placards used outside parliament in reference to former Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
“Mr Mitchell indicated on-air that I had confused Mr Hadley with another presenter. Mr Mitchell was correct. I regret the error, thank Mr Mitchell for bringing this to my attention and I apologise to Mr Hadley.”
Earlier this week Hanson-Young discussed another apology she previously issued, this time to Peta Credlin. During an appearance on ABC’s Q&A on Monday night, she revealed her regret over not speaking out in Credlin’s defence at the time, admitting she has since apologised to the 48-year-old former public servant who was rumoured to have been having an affair with her boss, then-Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
“At the time, I regret not calling it out and defending her more then,” the Greens senator said. “I have since said I’m sorry to her. I think this is something that affects a lot of people. Calling it out breaks the silence and breaks the power.”
Senator Hanson-Young said Credlin had “copped it more than most” when it came to sexism in parliament, adding: “The things that were said about her, if she had been a bloke as chief of staff in the prime minister’s office it never would have been said.”