News and Commentary

Columnist Apologizes To Rebel Wilson Over ‘Outing’ Controversy, Paper Removes Article That Exposed Plans
Rebel Wilson
Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images for AFI

A columnist with The Sydney Morning Herald issued an apology and the publication removed his article that seemed to indicate he had threatened to “out” actress Rebel Wilson and was disappointed she decided to reveal her same-sex relationship on Instagram instead.

The Daily Wire initially reported that Wilson posted about her new relationship on social media. The 42-year-old actress made the announcement on Instagram Thursday, writing, “I thought I was searching for a Disney Prince… but maybe what I really needed all this time was a Disney Princess #loveislove,” alongside a photo of herself smiling with girlfriend Ramona Agruma.

One day later, Herald columnist Andrew Hornery wrote an article explaining how the paper had known about the relationship and contacted Wilson’s reps with “an abundance of caution and respect” to request a comment.

Hornery seemed angry that Wilson chose to share her news on social media rather than giving that honor to the paper. The article has since been removed.

“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,” he wrote in the scrubbed opinion piece, according to screenshots posted on Twitter.

“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 said, “Wilson opted to gazump the story” and that “her choice to ignore our discreet, genuine and honest queries was, in our view, underwhelming.”

Sydney Morning Herald Editor Bevan Shields defended Hornery and the column, writing on Sunday, “Like other mastheads do every day, we simply asked questions and as standard practice included a deadline for a response. I had made no decision about whether or what to publish, and the Herald‘s decision about what to do would have been informed by any response Wilson supplied.”

As of Monday, Hornery apologized for how he handled the situation.

“It is not the Herald’s business to ‘out’ people and that is not what we set out to do. But I understand why my email has been seen as a threat. The framing of it was a mistake.”

The columnist continued, saying, “The tone of my column on Saturday was also off. I got it wrong. I allowed my disappointment to cast a shadow over the piece. That was not fair and I apologize. … The Herald and I will approach things differently from now on to make sure we always take into consideration the extra layer of complexities people face when it comes to their sexuality.”


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