News (World)

TV talking head fired for calling high school student ‘gay’

TV talking head fired for calling high school student ‘gay’
Photo: Screenshot/YouTube

A man who made a living providing commentary on a conservative channel in Australia has been fired for making homophobic comments on air.

Mark Latham, who was the leader of the Labor Party for about a year in 2004, was a paid commentator on the show Outsiders on Sky News. Sky News is a 24-hour news channel that was started as part of a Rupert Murdoch initiative, like an Australian Fox News.

Latham was responding to a video for International Women’s Day made by students at the Sydney Boys High School on March 12. Latham said, “The boys at the boys school look like dickheads doing their video, total dickheads” and added that he thought “the first guy was gay.”

Sky News CEO Angelo Frangopoulos explained the decision on Twitter, saying, “While we support strong opinions and robust arguments, we pride ourselves in doing so in a civil and respectful manner.”

Latham was criticized by politicians from both sides of the aisle. Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek, whose district includes the high school, said that the students in the video were “better men than Mark Latham has ever been.”

Labor leader Bill Shorten accused Latham of acting “like a bully.”

Latham responded to the firing on Twitter, saying that it’s actually the left that’s “bigoted.” “Why does bigoted Left assume use of word “gay” automatically negative? I love gays! Away from poisonous Left politics they are great people.”

He also said that the Labor Party – the left-leaning one of Australia’s two major parties – should stop focusing on issues of race, gender, and sexuality and instead focus on class issues, inexplicably citing Martin Luther King, Jr. “Gender, race and sexuality do not matter – true Labor looks after people in socio-economic need – the poor, underclass. MLK correct.”

Latham implied that there were plans to take the show Outsiders elsewhere, away from the “pathetic PC outrage industry” at Sky News.

This is not the first time Latham has lost a job in the media. Two years ago he was fired from The Australian Financial Review after Buzzfeed reported on his use of Twitter to harass women. This included calling a transgender military officer “a he/she” and writing numerous tweets about domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty accusing her of “dividing the nation on the basis of gender.”

He was also fired from the conservative Spectator magazine twice due to issues with the editors.

Kristina Keneally, former premier of New South Wales, the state that Sydney is located in, filed a formal complaint for defamation earlier this month due to separate comments Latham made about her.

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