The Australian Press Council has found that The Sydney Morning Herald‘s perceived threat to ‘out’ Rebel Wilson would have been likely to cause “distress.”
In June, Andrew Hornery, who writes a gossip column for The Sydney Morning Herald, reached out to Wilson for a comment on her sexuality and gave her two days to reply before he planned to write an article about her dating a woman, effectively ‘outing,’ her.
But Wilson beat him to the punch and announced via Instagram that she was dating a woman.
View this post on Instagram
Hornery wasn’t pleased and complained that she’d “gazumped” him in his weekly gossip column.
Hornery’s response made worldwide news, and ultimately both Hornery and SMH apologised for how it was handled.
Now SMH has posted The Press Council’s finding on the matter this weekend. “The Council considers that taken collectively, the article’s reference to “outing” same-sex celebrity couples, its reference to giving Ms Wilson two days to respond to information concerning her relationship, and its forthright criticism of her for not responding, was likely to cause substantial offence and distress.
“The Council does not consider there was a sufficient public interest justification in doing so. Accordingly, the Council concludes that the publication breached General Principle 6.”
Australian Press Council rules against @smh and @theage over their outting of @RebelWilson and Ramona Agruma. Interesting how this was conveniently dropped on a Saturday at midnight, @bevanshields & @AndrewHornery…. #LGBT pic.twitter.com/KG3ly63yOf
— Kate Doak (@katedoak) October 29, 2022
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