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16th of July 2018


Studio 10 panel faces off against David Leyonhjelm over 'bitch' slur

David Leyonhjelm on Studio 10 on Wednesday morning.

David Leyonhjelm on Studio 10 on Wednesday morning.

Photo: Ten

After a circuitous discussion where he refused to back-track on his comments and continued his defence that Hanson-Young was a "serious misandrist", he may as well have stayed home.


During the frustrating exchange, Bishop continuously pressed the senator on his slur.

"I'm not a misandrist. Why did you call me a bitch?" she asked.

"Because you were being bigoted," he replied, saying he was defending Bishop's co-host Joe Hildebrand, who had been "trying to explain the context" of his words against Hanson-Young.

"Why not call her a bigot, why do you call her a bitch? Real men don't call women bitches," Riminton jumped in.

"Oh, you've had a very sheltered life, Hugh," Leyonhjelm replied. "You're entitled to your opinion... I mix with normal Australians and they use that language all the time."

Leyonhjelm with Studio 10's panel following the awkward segment.

Leyonhjelm with Studio 10's panel following the awkward segment.

Photo: Ten

Midway through the interview, Leyonhjelm appeared to temper his tone, telling Bishop "I'm sorry you took offence" at the slur.

"So do you admit that calling her a bitch was wrong?" host Harris interjected.

"Oh no," Leyonhjelm quickly replied, drawing groans from the in-studio audience and panellist Fiona O’Loughlin.

Riminton later shared an "off-camera concession" on Twitter, saying Leyonhjelm had told Bishop "he probably shouldn't have said it in public".

Bishop also questioned the senator on his "end game", suggesting his controversial comments were aimed at attracting interest to his re-election campaign.

"That might be an outcome of it, but I didn't set out to achieve that... I didn't try to stop the ball but I also didn't start it," Leyonhjelm said, putting the blame over his time "in the spotlight" back on the media.

"You guys keep ringing me up to come and do interviews," he told the panel. "Free speech is important but so is sexism and calling out misandry."

Leyonhjelm has refused to back down from his comments against Hanson-Young despite condemnation by Malcolm Turnbull, saying he'd only apologise if the Greens senator made three public announcements rejecting "men's collective responsibility" in violence against women.

Hanson-Young, who described Leyonhjelm's comments as "sexist" and "slut-shaming", has already rejected his conditions.

Rob Moran is an Entertainment reporter for The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and Brisbane Times.

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