Courtney Act responds to Senator Alex Antic’s ‘grooming’ comments

Courtney Act

Drag star Courtney Act has responded to accusations from Liberal Senator Alex Antic that her appearance on ABC television where she read a children’s story was equitable to child grooming.

In Senate Estimates hearings Senator Antic questioned ABC boss David Anderson over the segment asking, “Why is the ABC grooming Australian children with this sort of adult content?”

When the politician made his comments, the performer was away at an isolated wellness retreat, and was not able to see any news or social media, she said when she emerged from her self-imposed isolation she was really taken aback to hear the accusations from Senator Antic.

Appearing on Channel 10’s The Project Courtney Act said child grooming was something that should be taken seriously.

“Grooming is really serious. Grooming is the act of an abuser manipulating a child so they can sexually abuse them. It’s a serious term. To use terms of abuse where no abuse is happening takes away from the occasions when it is happening.”

“It was quite a shocking thing to be accused of,” Courtney Act said. In response to the accusation the performer published an article in the Sydney Morning Herald titled Grow Up Senator! Kids reading about a girl in pants is not grooming

Courtney Act said she was amazed that a federal politician had gotten all hot and bothered about a story about a girl wanting to wear pants rather than a dress to her birthday party.

“Katharine Hepburn already kicked down that gender door in the 1930s, and the action was made so much easier because she was wearing pants.” Act wrote.

The performer also rejected critics assertions that all drag performances are sexual.

“Is all drag appropriate for kids? Absolutely not, but that doesn’t mean that none of it is. Is drag inherently sexual? No. It’s performance that uses the heightened costume of gender to entertain. Kids see colour, fun and sparkles. They are not sexualising it. That’s something adults do.”

The comments Senator Antic made in Senate Estimates are protected by parliamentary privilege. During an appearance on Sky News on Friday night he turned down the opportunity to repeat them in public.

OIP Staff

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