Australia’s public broadcaster has been accused of ‘grooming’ children after well-known drag queen Courtney Act’s appearance on Playschool’s Story Time.
Liberal senator Alex Antic made the claim during Senate Estimates, saying he had questions about programming matters. He asked why Shane Jenek, whose stage name is Courtney Act, read a children’s book about a female child wanting to wear male clothing on the children’s show.
“The program was rated G and has been heavily promoted on TV and on the app. Why is the ABC grooming children with this sort of adult content?” the senator asked.
ABC managing director David Anderson rejected the statement, replying, “I don’t see that as grooming children with our content. That particular program is reading from a book that is about dressing up.”
Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young called the claim ‘deeply, deeply offensive’.
“Heavens above – girls wearing pants. That is the level of rubbish you are putting forward,” she continued.
But senator Antic wouldn’t be swayed. “It is amazing what triggers a response. The truth. The truth that the ABC is grooming our children,” he said.
Senator Hanson-Young replied,”Grooming is a really serious matter. It’s not for being played with by conservative senators to make headlines.”
David Anderson again reiterated that the ABC is not grooming Australian children.
You can watch the full exchange below:
The book Courtney Act reads in the segment is called The Spectacular Suit by Kat Patrick and is described as, ‘a buoyant and heartwarming celebration of individuality, identity, and dressing to suit yourself.’Learn more.