Wellington Scoop

“Sexist relic,” says Denise Ritchie after John Morrison’s apology

Press Release – www.stopdemand.org
Wellington mayoral hopeful, Councillor John Morrison, has apologised for his quip at the opening of the Wellington Harbour City Rotary Club’s art awards function two weeks ago that has since seen allegations of sexism levelled at him.

Morrison reportedly told the packed charity art exhibition that he would be showering with one of the partially body-painted models after the show. Reports (1) of the event indicate that his comments were considered offensive and inappropriate by one identified model and many attendees. Mr Morrison is also reported to have subsequently defended his comments (2) with “I am a sportsman and we do tend to say stuff like that”.

This display of inappropriate behaviour is not a one-off for Morrison, says the Stop Demand Foundation which addresses the sexual denigration of women. In 2007, the Broadcasting Standards Authority upheld a complaint against Morrison’s then employer The Radio Network. It found that a “gratuitous and prolonged” sound track played by Morrison on a radio show, simulating sounds of a woman having sex with a bull to advertise an NPC rugby final, breached standards of good taste and decency.

In its decision (3), the Authority considered “that the connotation of bestiality would have been offensive and distasteful to a significant number of listeners”. It also noted that “instead of ameliorating the impact of the soundtrack, the presenter’s subsequent remarks confirmed the implication of bestiality”. Morrison was reported to have added: “My god is there nothing those people won’t get up to up there [in the Waikato]. I guess if you spend most of your life looking at the back end of a cow it’s liable to affect you in the long run.”

Stop Demand’s founder, Denise Ritchie, said, “What was further troubling about that incident was that even after the BSA’s decision, the ‘counselled’ Morrison reportedly continued to maintain his defence of the clip. This raises various ‘red flags’ around lack of insight and arrogance, particularly on issues of sexism, misogyny and offensiveness to women and men who respect women.”

Stop Demand hopes this latest episode will have a positive spin-off. “These incidents show the true nature of the man,” says Denise Ritchie. “It’ll be up to Wellington voters to decide if a sexist relic from a bygone era is suited for the role of our capital city’s future mayor.”

Stop Demand calls for action to stop sexual violence, sexual exploitation and sexual denigration of women and children.

1 http://bit.ly/167UkKF

2 http://bit.ly/1emUrV7 – comments section

3 http://bit.ly/150sEqk

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  1. Nora, 18. September 2013, 16:46

    Back in 2000 John Morrison quit Wellington Alive to stand for Mayor. The Evening Post reported that Mayor Blumsky said “a good team captain doesn’t start bagging his captain’; Cr Parkin said Cr Morrison’s claim that he would be able to achieve consensus was “horse manure;” Deputy Mayor Kerry Prendergast said “he needed to show greater commitment to council work;” Cr Ian Hutchings said he had not demonstrated vision or leadership during his time on council. After losing the election for Mayor, it didn’t take him long to rejoin the team he had rejected.

  2. Barbara Ella, 18. September 2013, 19:18

    Well this is definitely not mayoral material. Lets hope the people of Wellington reject his bid for leadership. It would be a serious embarrassment.

  3. Barbara lamb, 18. September 2013, 19:20

    Bad look for Wellington if he gets anywhere near the mayor’s job.