“It was a very hard situation but trying to handle it with grace”
BY LUCAN FAIRWEATHER, IMAGE BY VIVIEN KILLILEA/GETTY IMAGES FOR NETFLIX
In coming out, Rebel Wilson inspired many and helped our community to feel seen, however we are disheartened to learn of the shocking circumstances she came out in.
On Thursday 9 June, Rebel publicised her relationship with fashion designer Ramona Agruma in an Instagram post.
The Pitch Perfect and Senior Year star said: “I thought I was searching for a Disney Prince… but maybe what I really needed all this time was a Disney Princess.”
Two days later Andrew Hornery, columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald, disclosed the newspaper’s plan to out Rebel Wilson’s new relationship before she could come out herself.
In a now removed piece, Hornery wrote: “In a perfect world, ‘outing’ same-sex celebrity relationships should be a redundant concept in 2022. Love is love, right?”
“As Rebel Wilson knows, we do not live in a perfect world.”
“So, it was an abundance of caution and respect that this media outlet emailed Rebel Wilson’s representatives on Thursday morning, giving her two days to comment on her new relationship with another woman, LA leisure wear designer Ramona Agruma, before publishing a single word.”
Hornery added that Rebel had “gazumped” the story by coming out on Instagram instead.
The Sydney Morning Herald faced instant backlash from social media, with Stephanie H Convery of Guardian Australia saying: “Wait, the SMH is mad because they were going to out Rebel Wilson and when they told her they were going to, she did it herself instead?”
“Is this the 1960s? Who in a reputable paper thinks it’s their right to forcibly out someone? How the f*ck is that in the public interest?”
Wait, the SMH is mad because they were going to out Rebel Wilson and when they told her they were going to, she did it herself instead?— Stephanie H Convery (@gingerandhoney) June 11, 2022
Is this the 1960s? Who in a reputable paper thinks it’s their right to forcibly out someone? How the fuck is that in the public interest?
I am so ashamed of my industry this weekend. @RebelWilson is a bloody legend, and I am so sorry the @smh did this to her. In the past hour, the herald’s editor has put this out. No words. https://t.co/3N2K1HhyVa— Tyson Shine (@theshineline) June 12, 2022
DIVA publisher Linda Riley also spoke out on the issue, saying: “As Publisher of @DIVAmagazine I know many LGBTQI women who are in the Public Eye and not ‘Out’, this is their journey & it is not for LGBTQI Media to ‘Out’ people – This is abhorrent behaviour & if this story if true the Gay journalist involved should be thoroughly ashamed.”
As Publisher of @DIVAmagazine I know many LGBTQI women who are in the Public Eye and not ‘Out’, this is their journey & it is not for LGBTQI Media to ‘Out’ people – This is abhorrent behaviour & if this story if true the Gay journalist involved should be thoroughly ashamed 😡 https://t.co/cVhUEiucqk— Linda Riley (@LindaRiley8) June 11, 2022
Rebel spoke out on the issue on 12 June, commenting on a Twitter post from Australian journalist Kate Doak: “Thanks for your comments, it was a very hard situation but trying to handle it with grace.”
Thanks for your comments, it was a very hard situation but trying to handle it with grace 💗— Rebel Wilson (@RebelWilson) June 12, 2022
The Sydney Morning Herald has since removed the article, replacing it with an opinion piece by Andrew Hornery titled “I made mistakes over Rebel Wilson, and will learn from them.”
The Australian newspaper denies outing Wilson, which is repeated by editor Bevan Shields in a statement to PinkNews.
Bevan said: “Our weekly Private Sydney celebrity column asked Wilson if she wished to comment about her new partner. We would have asked the same questions had Wilson’s new partner been a man.”
“Like other mastheads do every day, we simply asked the questions and as standard practice included a deadline for a response. We made no decision about whether or what to publish, and our decision about what to do would have been informed by any response Wilson supplied.”
“Wilson made the decision to publicly disclose her new partner – who had been a feature of her social media accounts for months. We wish them both well.”
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