Mathieson’s prostate joke ‘bad taste’: MP
AAPUpdated January 29, 2013, 9:43 am
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Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s partner is in hot water over a joke about prostate cancer and Asian women.
Tim Mathieson, with Ms Gillard standing behind him, delivered the joke to members of the West Indian cricket team at a reception at The Lodge in Canberra on Monday.
“We can get a blood test for it, but the digital examination is the only true way to get a correct reading on your prostate, so make sure you go and do that, and perhaps look for a small Asian female doctor is probably the best way,” he said, to laughter.
But the opposition says it’s no laughing matter. Liberal MP Kelly O’Dwyer says the joke was tasteless.
“Prostate cancer is an important issue. However, the comments made by the prime minister’s partner Tim Mathieson lacked judgment, were in bad taste and were inappropriate,” she said in a brief statement.
“I am sure the prime minister would not condone them.”
Labor MP Mike Kelly said Mr Mathieson had done a lot of good work promoting prostate cancer awareness, but he conceded the joke was off-colour.
“Certainly I think everybody would probably agree there’s a better way of trying to achieve that,” Mr Kelly told Sky News.
“A poor choice of words.”
Shadow attorney-general George Brandis said the joke was “slightly unfortunate” but cautioned against people getting too carried away.
“The joke was in poor taste but that having been said, I don’t think we want to have in this country a culture of finger-wagging and confected outrage,” he said.
“Political correctness in Australia has gone way too far.”
Senator Brandis said Mr Mathieson would have been “carted away to the re-education camp by the thought police” under the government’s proposed anti-discrimination laws.