Photographer angry, journo stood down as Katter ad fallout continues
The controversy surrounding the anti-gay television ad aired by Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) over the weekend in the lead-up to the Queensland election has widened, with a French photographer angry that his images were used and KAP funder, billionaire James Packer saying he “certainly” doesn’t support the message conveyed in the ad.
Three KAP candidates running in the March 24 election have also distanced themselves from the ad while another scandal has newly developed following revelations that an ABC journalist provided the voice-over for the now infamous ad which took a swipe at LNP leader Campbell Newman’s personal support for marriage equality while featuring partly-pixellated images of a gay couple.
Speaking from Paris, photographer Franck Camhi told the Sydney Morning Herald that he was upset that his image of two shirtless men embracing – with one wearing a stomach prosthesis – taken to highlight the issue of gay adoption, was being used to attack the gay community in Australia.
“I did not know about it. That is not the right use for them,” he said.
“I am against the use of it personally and if I can stop it I will.”
KAP State Leader, Aidan McLindon, yesterday wrongly claimed that the image was from last year’s Rip & Roll gay safe-sex campaign.
“In fact the image that is on television the gay community have been quite openly using on all their ads in school bus stops,” McLindon told ABC News 24.
“They can’t have it both ways. If they’re going to put those images in our school children’s bus stops on one hand and then complain it’s used for a few seconds on an ad.”
KAP media spokesperson, Scott Barrett, told SX today that the image was procured from an online image library and that there was no restriction on its use for political endorsements.
“As far as I’m aware all the correct procedures have been followed in terms of the set guidelines in the use of the image and our dealings with the image library,” he said.
Since the ad aired on television on Sunday, it has also come to light that WA-based ABC journalist and Saturday breakfast show presenter, Suzanne McGill, may have provided the voiceover used in it.
Asked to confirm whether McGill was the same ‘S. McGill’ cited at the end of the ad or whether he had any comment on journalists employed with the ABC doing party-political ads, Barrett said he could not verify who provided the voice talent.
“You would have to speak to the ABC about that,” Barrett added.
“We used a production company and they dealt with organising voice talent. I don’t know who Suzanne McGill is.”
The ABC however today informed SX that McGill, a casual weekend presenter for regional Local Radio in Bunbury, Western Australia, had been stood down pending a formal investigation.
“It can be confirmed that Ms McGill did not seek nor obtain permission for external voiceover work, as required in accordance with ABC policies,” a spokesperson said.
“Ms McGill will not be on air while the matter is investigated.”
The continuing controversy has forced at least three KAP candidates to publicly distance themselves from the ad, with all three conceding the ad was unacceptable and offensive.
Darren Hunt, KAP candidate for Cairns, told the Cairns Post that the ad was an ill thought out attempt to gain votes from people who don’t support gay marriage.
“People have been rightly offended by it,” Hunt said.
“There’s no reason, as far as I could see, for the depiction of the couple or the animation of Bob Brown, it contributed nothing to the message.”
Packer, who only last Thursday donated $250,000 to KAP has also condemned the ads.
“I admire his (Bob Katter’s) passion for this great country and that’s why I donated to him,” Packer said in a statement.
“But I don’t agree with all his policies and views and I certainly don’t support this advertisement or his attack on Campbell Newman.”
It is understood that at least one complaint has been sent to the Advertising Standards Bureau over the airing of the ad, with long-time equal rights activist, Phil Browne, lodging an official objection yesterday.
“The ad uses fear and hate to target homosexuals, an oppressed minority group,” Browne said in his complaint.
“This is vile and unacceptable.”
- Tags: ABC, Advertisement, Advertising Standards Bureau, Aidan McLindon, Bob Katter, Campbell Newman, Darren Hunt, Election, Franck Camhi, Homophobic, James Packer, Katter's Australian Party, LNP, Phil Brown, Politics, Queensland, Queensland Pride, Suzanne McGill, SX, Television