Australia’s national broadcaster faced calls for a review of funding on Tuesday over a television comedy scene with a fictional Prime Minister Julia Gillard draped in a national flag after having sex on her office floor.
Conservative opposition lawmakers said the Australian Broadcasting Corporation had overstepped good taste with a scene in which actors playing Gillard and her partner Tim Mathieson cuddled naked and used the flag — with its historic ties to Britain and Australia’s Queen Elizabeth — as a sheet.
“Having sex in the prime minister’s office under the Australian flag is the last straw for me. It is sick. I’m offended and we should take a stand,” one lawmaker who could not be named told a closed door meeting of MPs, a conservative spokesman told a press briefing.
Another MP called for a rethink of taxpayer funding for the ABC, saying the program degraded the office of prime minister, currently held by center-left Labor rival Gillard, while monarchists said the use of the flag was disrespectful…
Gillard herself has laughed off controversy over the satire…Good for you, Julia!
An ABC spokesman for the program said Gillard had only been shown in a “very gentle, tender scene.”
“If it’s okay for others to drape themselves in our flag for all manner of occasions, I really don’t see why it can’t be draped over our prime minister as a symbol of love,” the spokesman said.
And the answer from reasonable adults, hopefully sophisticated, certainly couched in free speech is — “tell the stiffs to stuff it where the sun don’t shine!”
Cowardly reactionaries of every land wrap themselves in the national flag every time they feel threatened by present or future freedom. Letting people speak, letting people laugh, is no longer a choice governed by monarchists and conservative fops.