Aussie TV Presenter Joe Hildebrand Called Insensitive for Tweet About Ian Thorpe’s Coming Out [VIDEO]
By Anne Lu | July 14, 2014 12:56 PM EST
TV presenter Joe Hildebrand has been called insensitive after tweeting a joke about Olympic gold medallist Ian Thorpe’s coming out.
In an interview with British talk show host Michael Parkinson on Channel 10 on Sunday, Thorpe revealed that he is gay after years of denial.
“I’m not straight. And this is only something that very recently, we’re talking in the past two weeks, I’ve been comfortable telling the closest people around me exactly that,” he said, adding that he had wanted to come out for years, but was afraid that people would question his integrity if he admitted such thing.
“I’m comfortable saying I’m a gay man. And I don’t want young people to feel the same way that I did. You can grow up, you can be comfortable and you can be gay,” he added.
While this is the first time he confessed to his true sexual identity, people have been speculating about it for a long time. He had continually denied being gay, though, and even took time to address the matter on his 2012 memoir “This is Me.”
“For the record, I am not gay and all my sexual experiences have been straight. I’m attracted to women, I love children and aspire to have a family one day... I know what it’s like to grow up and be told what your sexuality is, then realising that it’s not the full reality. I was accused of being gay before I knew who I was,” he wrote.
Hildebrand wasn’t so shocked about his confession, and he made it clear that he wasn’t moved at all by Thorpe’s interview.
Good on Thorpey for coming out as gay. Although if he really wanted to shock people he should've said that he was straight. #IanThorpe
— Joe Hildebrand (@Joe_Hildebrand) July 13, 2014
The tweet was deemed insensitive by some people, who claimed that Hildebrand is part of the problem in a society wherein homosexuals are afraid to come out.
Thorpe also talked about his depression and suffering, including the years he spent trying to hide his resentment at people who attack him with homophobic slurs.
Although people have been speculating Thorpe’s sexuality since he has won multiple gold medals at the 2000 Summer Olympics, most were sympathetic when he has finally admitted to being gay on Sunday. Online commenters noted that it was important that he had come out on his own terms, without anyone bullying him for not admitting it sooner.
That’s what critics have been telling Hildebrand when he posted his tweet, that it was unnecessary for him to make fun of Thorpe’s confession, no matter how “obvious” it might have been to him.
. @Joe_Hildebrand think you'll find comments like this are part of the problem Joe. — Samantha Thomas (@Doc_Samantha) July 13, 2014
@Joe_Hildebrand Is that really necessary? Hasn't he put up with enough smarminess for one lifetime?
— Joanna McCarthy (@joanna_mcc) July 13, 2014
@macleanbrendan It'd be more of a shock to read that tweet if I didn't already know @Joe_Hildebrand was a dickhead. — L12 (@L12Fleming) July 13, 2014
— Fen (@FenstarDeLuxe) July 13, 2014
Even “Practically Wasted” singer Brendan Maclean saw what was wrong with Hildebrand’s message.
Playground of bullies telling a boy he's gay. Boy goes through hell. Boy finally comes out. Bullies laugh at him because it was "obvious." — Brendan Maclean (@macleanbrendan) July 13, 2014
However, it appears that Hildebrand was unrepentant, insisting that he only pointed out what was already known.
— Joe Hildebrand (@Joe_Hildebrand) July 13, 2014
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