Television personality and podcast host, Jessica Rowe, has deleted her podcast episode with Pauline Hanson, after the ensuing backlash the interview created.
Rowe’s podcast, Jessica Rowe, Big Talk Show via LisTNR, is an interview-style show where Rowe endeavours to talk with her guests about what really matters. So far, she’s had everyone from Karl Stefanovic to Julie Morris as guests.
The podcast has also already been a success, even landing the number one spot on Apple Podcasts, temporarily beating out favourites like MamamiaOutLoud.
However, yesterday when she dropped an episode with right-wing politician Pauline Hanson, Rowe was confronted by considerable, public backlash.
To give some context, Hanson is known for her conservative views. most recently she has declared she won’t get the COVID-19 vaccination. She’s also made headlines throughout her career for her rather divisive views. For instance, The Canberra Times, reported in 2020 that Hanson slammed the initiative, Closing The Gap, and referred to it as, “complete rubbish.”
Then, she said: “The biggest problem facing Australian and Aboriginal Australians today is their own lack of commitment and responsibility to helping themselves.”
So while all politicians are controversial by nature, Hanson is particularly polarising. But, despite Rowe clarifying that she disagrees with Hansons political views, she still chose to interview for her podcast.
The episode blurb reads, “Jessica’s guest is controversial politician Senator Pauline Hanson, leader and founder of One Nation. However, this episode isn’t about politics, instead, it’s about how Pauline has dealt with some of the darkest moments in her life and where she finds the resilience to keep going despite the setbacks.
“In this honest and reflective conversation, Pauline recalls the moment she was sent to prison and the deep depression that followed. And like any good D&M, Pauline opens up about her private 12-year relationship, and why having independence and giving each other freedom is their key to staying together.”
When the episode dropped, Rowe was met with an influx of criticism rather than praise. Both activist Grace Tame and creative powerhouse, Nakkiah Lui tweeted and condemned the podcast episode.
Jess, I have a lot of respect for you but this is not it. You’re platforming a racist. You’re celebrating someone who has made a career/$$$ from degrading, disrespecting and dehumanising many people. If you’re not interrogating them, you’re validating those racist opinions. pic.twitter.com/myEOmvYXQn
— Nakkiah Lui (@nakkiahlui) September 29, 2021
Jess, I respect you. In my view, you’re wrong here.
Earlier this year I made a similar error. I posted a photo with someone who has hurt others. At first I defended it, citing the spirit of inclusion and forgiveness. But after listening to those whom they’d hurt, I took it down.
— Grace Tame (@TamePunk) September 29, 2021
Rowe then took to Instagram to explain she’d contacted LiSTNR to get the episode deleted. Rowe wrote, “I’ve listened to your comments and asked @listnrau to take down the Pauline Hanson episode.”
She also thanked Tame and Lui for sharing their opinions.
Rowe also deleted her Instagram post that previously announced the episode and featured a photo of Hanson and a photo of Rowe recording the episode separately – they both looked happy in their respected photos.
Of course, not everyone felt Rowe should delete her episode with Hanson. Mark Latham slammed Rowe’s move to get rid of the episode, and there’s a whole side of Twitter that has condemned her decision to delete the episode.
Latham’s tweet got over 500 likes.
Jessica Rowe, the ‘journalist’ who only broadcasts material with which her friends agree.
The ultimate Echo Chamber. https://t.co/QFKu5Z4e8H
— Real Mark Latham (@RealMarkLatham) September 29, 2021
Meanwhile, Hanson used the moment to plug her political career and add some changes to Rowe’s podcast photo.
STATEMENT | Jessica Rowe Removes Pauline Hanson Podcast
Keyboard warriors may have had a win this round, but people can stay in touch with me by becoming a @OneNationAus supporter by clicking the link below -PH
— Pauline Hanson 🇦🇺 (@PaulineHansonOz) September 29, 2021
Of course, the whole incident has turned into a much larger conversation online. Should we be giving people a platform that share their controversial views? Will Rowe now be painted as the ‘victim’ and do interviews discussing ‘cancel culture?’ Is Rowe allowed to learn from this or should she already have known better? Should we be trying to find common ground with people we disagree with?
victoria covid numbers so bad today that i assume they'll be on a podcast with Jessica Rowe later
— cameronwilson (@cameronwilson) September 29, 2021
Im now bracing myself for the fixation on Jessica Rowe’s hurt feelings by media colleagues & other white women. A predictable cycle. Rather than examine whats required to be anti-racist there’ll be sympathy about ‘pile-ons’ & lots of ‘sending hugs’ her way. Media: DO BETTER
— Antoinette Lattouf (@antoinette_news) September 29, 2021
On the Jessica Rowe thing: the sad, depressing reality is that her view – that we should do softball interviews with the far-right to 'understand' and 'relate' to them is not a minority position in the Australian media landscape. It is far and away the most commonly held view.
— Osman Faruqi (@oz_f) September 29, 2021
Naturally, no one has the answers or at least no one seems to agree, but it does make for some interesting discussions.
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