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Hanson-Young seeks legal advice on Sky news broadcast

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South Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young is seeking legal advice over comments broadcast by Sky News which were described by the station itself as “appalling”.

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Sky News apologised for the segment on its Outsiders program on Sunday morning and suspended the producer.

Hanson-Young said she was seeking legal advice about the commentary between Senator David Leyonhjelm and the hosts of the program, Rowan Dean and Ross Cameron.

She is also seeking legal advice about an interview Leyonhjelm did on Melbourne’s 3AW on Sunday morning.

“Comments made by Senator Leyonhjelm about me and broadcast on these two shows are reprehensible, hurtful, and no woman, whether in public or in the privacy of her own home deserves them,” she said in a statement.

“Senator Leyonhjelm should do the decent thing and resign. I believe he has proven himself incapable of showing respect and is unfit to represent not only women, but all decent Australians, in our nation’s Parliament.”

The Sky show was discussing an interchange between Leyonhjelm and Hanson-Young in Parliament last Thursday.

During a speech in the Senate by Hanson-Young, Leyonhjelm told her to “stop shagging men”.

When she approached him after the comment, which was yelled across the Senate chamber during a motion on arming women with weapons for their safety, he told her to “fuck off”.

Senate president Scott Ryan asked Leyonhjelm to apologise but he refused.

Hanson-Young described the comments as sexist and offensive.

The discussion went further on Sky on Sunday morning, outside the legal protection offered by Parliament, with similar personal comments by Leyonhjelm about Hanson-Young also being highlighted in an on-screen tag-line.

Hanson-Young today thanked “the many people who have reached out in support overnight”.

“It is a sad reflection on society that even in 2018, attacks like these occur to women after they have spoken out about sexism, sexual harassment and abuse in their workplace and daily lives.

“Last week I confronted Senator Leyonhjelm for comments he made to me in the Senate chamber. It is greatly disappointing and it sends a damaging message to our community that Senator Leyonhjelm has been given multiple platforms to continue making these harmful remarks.

“As a woman, a sister, and a mother, I have a responsibility to stand up against this treatment. I will not be intimidated or bullied by offensive and sexist slurs on my professional reputation.”

The Outsiders segment has been condemned by other Sky News presenters and politicians.

South Australian Liberal Senator Simon Birmingham called on Leyonhjelm to apologise.

“Frankly, people ought to be a little bigger and better than that,” Birmingham told Sky News today.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott joined the calls for the Liberal Democrats senator to say sorry for doubling down on his original attack.

“Leyonhjelm goes on Sky on the weekend in a very smug and self-righteous way and repeats the damn thing. People should be better than that,” Abbott told 2GB.

– with AAP

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