Sexual Harassment Allegations in Australian Media


I think this warrants a thread (mods can make the final decision on this).

During Media Watch this evening, it was mentioned that, in addition to the Don Burke allegations, the ABC and Fairfax are investigating four other individuals who may have committed similar crimes.

Furthermore, journalist Tracey Spicer, who herself left Network Ten after claiming discrimination on the basis of her gender in 2006, stated on The Project this evening that there is one alleged man who has been abusing people in the Australian media for over 40 years, and is still working in the industry today.

I think it should go without saying that unfounded accusations posted online can lead to defamation lawsuits.


Don Burke on how to discipline a tree, etc.


Does anyone else just think this is becoming a joke? Seems like everyday someone else is being accused of something. I understand that in the past maybe people said inappropriate things but things have changed and people are growing.

Only 15-15 years ago we could talk on our phones whilst driving. It is now illegal. Does that mean we go back 10 years and fine everyone that talked on their phone before there was a law?


Don’t be ridiculous. Sexual harassment is nothing like using your phone while driving.

Laws against sexual harassment have been around for a long time. Even if there wasn’t a law to protect women (or men or children) in the workplace, doesn’t mean it wasn’t always considered unethical or immoral.

Just because these guys got away with this bad behaviour for a long time and other men protected them, should that mean we ignore them now?

What if that was your daughter or another member of your own family? What if they have to deal with the anguish for the rest of their life? Will you just ignore it?

And @turdall, if someone said to you that you could only get a job, a promotion or keep your job by providing sexual favours, would you find that funny? If somone belttled your gender or sexual preference, would that be a joke?


Um, no it’s not a joke.

A cadet at Seven Adelaide was fired just a couple of years ago for speaking out against a colleague who had been treating her and other women poorly.

It absolutely still exists and I think the big reason this is coming out now is because people are speaking up and taking matters into their own hands precisely because those at the top have either a) been guilty of poor behaviour, or b) been willing to protect others because of their perceived value.

False equivalence.

And sexual harassment has been illegal for all this time. The only problem has been corporate leaders have been unwilling to take action against their employees.


When you have Lily Allen now saying she felt forced to go along with James Corden’s advances I think it is becoming a little ridiculous. I’m sorry perhaps my example was completely unrelated and not comparable but some of the allegations are just plain ridiculous.


I have had my gender and sexual preference made fun of and I am not going to make a big song and dance about it to the media or suddenly sue someone. We have grown as a society and sometimes things that happened in the past happened in the past and we should move on as a society. If that behaviour is continuing then yes it should be reported.

And if it is happening now then yes it should definitely be reported. Thing that happened 10-15 years ago though is just people jumping on a bandwagon. Why didn’t they report it back then?


So your solution is to deride any and every accusation of sexual harassment as a joke, because some of them aren’t as serious as others?

The world isn’t black and white. A lot of the celebrities caught up in this scandal haven’t approached the depravity of Weinstein, so grouping them all together and saying all accusations are frivolous and worthless is dumb. We are dealing with a broad range of cases and scenarios. You can treat the allegations made against people like Weinstein and Burke as serious and at the same time take issue with some overreactions. That’s totally fine.

The wrong thing to do in this instance is to dismiss the serious allegations, because that’s what the predators are relying on. Fatigue.


That’s exactly what a lot of people are wondering. If these predators were so-called open secrets in the entertainment industry, why wasn’t more done? Time and time again we see that it’s because those who could’ve spoken up were threatened with losing their jobs or even being blacklisted from the entertainment industry as a whole.



How do you tell someone who is psychologically affected by harassment or had their life or career damaged by the actions of harassed to just “move on”?

Don’t you think that if you stood up to the person that hassled you or spoke out about what they did, then they wouldn’t continue to harass other people and make them feel bad? Maybe you were too distressed about it or not confident enough to act but doesn’t mean they should be allowed to get away with what they did.



No, its far from a joke and I don’t buy your mobile phone comparison - the two crimes are incomparable.

Sexual Harassment (and worse) are abhorrent crimes that we need to weed out of society - to treat another person (regardless of gender) in such a fashion is not acceptable now, it was never acceptable in the past and should never be acceptable in the future.

Why has it taken so long for this to come to light? That answer is just as bad - quite often the offenders are protected by people of positions of power and it’s easier to deal with a ‘troublemaker’ who keeps bringing up the issue then it is to deal with the actual problem. This behaviour in my mind is just as abhorrent as the original crime - because you are in effect instituting that the behaviour is acceptable.

I highly doubt this is easy on anyone involved - victims have to relive what can be harrowing and terrible memories, those who participated in either covering it up or down-playing it need to come to terms and accept that they have done the wrong thing and the perpetrator needs to apologise unreservedly and without limitation for their behaviour.

We need to rid society of this terrible scourge and it’s really not that hard, the former Chief of Army, David Morrison summed it up best “The standard you walk past, is the standard you accept” - we need to start lifting the standard and this is one way to do that.


It’s disgusting that people got away with inappropriate behaviour in the past because they were in a powerful position and management covered up for them.


No I am not making light of serious sexual harassment allegations. I am just concerned the media and the victims are jumping on a current bandwagon.

Perhaps this is true. Perhaps its not. Its the media ans their guilty until proven innocent mentality thats annoying me at the moment with all these allegations.

The first time it happened i was a child and didnt feel i could stand up for myself. I did the other times. I just wonder why or if these people stood up for themselves. Look at Jessica rowe she stood up for herself and got herself away from a situation of harassment.


Really? I thought she was sacked from the Today show because management were listening to negative viewer feedback. Was there something else?


Another allegation against Burke when he was at 2UE. A producer said that Burke made inappropriate comments to her, and when she complained to 2UE management she was told she wouldn’t have to work with Burke again, which is what apparently happened after every complaint by young women against Burke. There were numerous complaints but 2UE management never reprimanded Burke.

I’ll be interested in what George Moore and Paul B Kidd have to say, if anything, on Saturday morning. For some years their weekend show followed Don Burke’s.


How do you know they didn’t? And even if they didn’t, so what if it’s taken 15 years?


@turdall is partially right in that the media cannot help themselves sometimes. Shit like this infuriates me.


Yeah. We don’t need to know everyone’s opinion on everything. Click bait at its worst.