Carrie Bickmore has unleashed on Peter van Onselen after he labelled Grace Tame ‘immature’ after her controversial meeting with the Prime Minister.
Bickmore and journalist Amy Remeikis who featured as a guest on The Project did not hold back against the commentator during Tuesday night’s program when discussing the 2021 Australian of the Year winner.
Tame had avoided eye contact with Scott Morrison and refused to smile for a photograph together on Tuesday morning at The Lodge at the AOTY morning tea for this year’s finalists.
Van Onselen wrote an opinion piece on the awkward encounter, calling the sexual abuse survivor ‘ungracious, rude and childish’, suggesting if she felt this way she should have stayed home.
Carrie Bickmore has unleashed on Peter van Onselen after he labelled Grace Tame ‘immature’ after her controversial meeting with the Prime Minister in Canberra on Tuesday
Bickmore and guest Remeikis, who is a sexual assault survivor herself, took issue with his comments and questioned why Tame needed to act a certain way.
‘Your column today, devastating to so many people,’ Remeikis said.
‘Woman constantly have to come out talk about their trauma … talk about not being taken seriously, scream the roof down get to the point where I’m almost crying on national television to talk about this
‘We’re constantly being told how we should act, who we should think about and who perhaps should be seen in our place.’
Bickmore then asked van Onselen why he felt he needed to tell Tame to act in a certain way and to smile during a ‘catastrophe’.
The Project host questioned why van Onselen wrote an opinion piece on Tame, suggesting if she was going to act ‘immature’ she should have stayed home
‘I didn’t think she should smile and pretend it’s ok, I just thought she shouldn’t go, if you can’t be polite in some form, I think just don’t go,’ he said, adding he applauded everything Tame had done for survivors of sexual assault.
The Project panellist then asked why should Tame be silenced and not able to attend the morning tea to which van Onselen said ‘if you can’t show basic courtesy I think it’s immature’.
‘You spoke about how she acted as a child, you know when she should have been able to act as a child? When she was a child. But she was preyed upon by a man and lost part of herself in that,’ Bickmore fired back.
‘I’m unsure how that article today helps when I’m assuming, like the entire nation, you want violence against women and children to end?’.
The commentator responded saying he had been the victim of an attempted sexual assault and understood the importance of the conversation around sexual abuse.
‘But I just think if you can’t be polite to the Prime Minister of the country, I get it, I said in the article, I get it, if she can’t be polite to him but then just don’t go,’ van Onselen said.
Commentator van Onselen said while he supported what Tame had done for survivors of sexaul assault, he believed her interaction with the PM was ‘childish’
Grace Tame (pictured second from right with fiance Max Heerey) looked underwhelmed as she stood alongside the PM and his wife Jenny (pictured left)
Remeikis chimed in asking why should Tame and other sexaul abuse survivors have to ‘be polite’.
‘I don’t think she should. I don’t think she should stand there and smile, I just think she shouldn’t go if you can’t show basic courtesies to the Prime Minister,’ the panellist responded.
‘But you wrote an entire column saying she was being childish because she showed her authentic feelings,’ Remeikis hit back.
‘I thought she was being childish, I don’t have a problem with her having a problem with Scott Morrison,’ van Onselen said.
He was then asked repeatedly why he wrote the article to which he said ‘I think it’s juvenile to respond that way’.
In the aftermath of the tense interview, Twitter erupted with many rushing to the support of Bickmore and Remeikis.
‘Hello NSW Police? I’d like to report a murder live on TV. PVO absolutely destroyed on The Project by Amy Remeikis. Long may it continue,’ one tweeted.
‘This is the best thing that has ever been on The Project. Thank you Amy Remeikis for being so eloquent and fierce. Thank you Carrie Bickmore for your honest and strong comments,’ said another.