Culture

Zoo Weekly’s Formally Apologised For Their Sexist Pics Of Sarah Hanson-Young (Because A Court Forced Them To)

"It is important that women see their political leaders stand up and call out sexism when they see it."

Sarah Hanson-Young slammed sexism in politics today.

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Today, the publishers of Zoo Weekly have been forced to move aside their persistently throbbing erections to momentarily place their tail between their legs; after a three-year battle in the Supreme Court, Sarah Hanson-Young has won her defamation case against the magazine. Though the full details of the settlement (including damages) aren’t yet known, Zoo have now issued an apology on their website and the Greens Senator has expressed her relief over social media.

In case you’ve forgotten/purposefully repressed your memory of all this, the case was the result of a spread the magazine published in 2012 which featured the young Senator’s face Photoshopped onto a woman wearing lingerie. After Hanson-Young’s passionate defence of asylum seekers the week prior, the magazine claimed it would “house the next boatload of asylum seekers in the Zoo office” if she posed in a bikini or lingerie for them, and this was the great idea they came up with after she rightfully refused.

It was also just one week before they announced the now-infamous “Hottest Asylum Seeker Competition” with a spread of the “Sexiest Boat People” featuring bikini-clad women on luxury yachts. “Are you a refugee not even the Immigration Minister could refuse?” they asked. “Then we want to see you! We’re looking for Oz’s hottest asylum seeker, so if you’ve swapped persecution for sexiness, we want to shoot you (with a camera — relax!) Send your pics and a short story about your tragic past to [email protected]

After the inevitable public outcry they were no doubt looking for, editor Tim Keen printed an apology and retraction of the competition soon after. “Zoo Weekly regrets any offence caused to any of our readers,” he wrote. “We apologise for being insensitive towards asylum seekers and refugees, and the traumatic experiences they have experienced. Our apologies are extended to Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.”

But, because that tacked-on acknowledgement is less indicative of a remorseful human adult than a petulant jerk kid stuck in the principal’s office, the Senator up and sued ’em. Though her initial arguments that the photos made her look incompetent or immature were knocked back by the court, she soon found a case in the fact the magazine had sexually objectified her.

“I am pleased that this matter has now been resolved,” she said this morning. “Whether it is a smutty men’s magazine or in pages of the daily newspapers, there is no place for the degradation of women and the right of women to have views or opinions.”

“Women are too often victims of sexism and too often they stay silent on the issue. I believe that it is important that women see their political leaders stand up and call out sexism when they see it. As a mother it is a huge concern that my own daughter can Google my name and find images of my face photoshopped onto the body of a near-naked women. Young women need to see their female leaders taking a stand against sexism. My daughter needs to know I did.”

There it is. It’s done. She won.

Here’s what the apology looks like on the Zoo website. I’ve drawn some helpful arrows to direct you there from each breast.

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