Comedians, musicians, politicians and other high-profile Australians have rallied around Grace Tame after an old photo of her pictured next to a bong went viral online.
The sexual abuse survivor and former Australian of the Year was back in the headlines just hours after she came under fire from Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s wife for not showing ‘respect or manners’ after being welcomed into their home.
Critics delved into Ms Tame’s Instagram feed on Monday and unearthed a photo from 2014 of her as a 19-year-old sitting on a couch with a large bong – a water pipe used for smoking cannabis – next to her.
Ms Tame hasn’t responded to the emergence of the picture, but on Monday night replied to a supporter who sarcastically pondered if she’d ‘s**t herself at McDonald’s after a rugby league grand final in 1997’.
‘Quite possibly, I would’ve been 2 years old. I s**t myself a lot back then,’ Ms Tame quipped.
The Twitter author was referring to the long-standing rumour a heartbroken Mr Morrison soiled himself at Engadine McDonald’s in Sydney’s south after his beloved Cronulla Sharks lost the Super League final 26-8 against the Brisbane Broncos.
2021 Australian of the Year Grace Tame (pictured) received overwhelming public support after a photo resurfaced of her pictured next to a bong
The Project host Peter Helliar threw his support behind Ms Tame on Twitter, saying the picture would get her another Australian of the Year nomination
Port Phillip deputy mayor Tim Baxter admitted he smoked bongs as a teenager in support of Ms Tame
The Sharks had never won a premiership in their 30-year history at the time.
Mr Morrison publicly addressed the urban legend two years ago while making a speech at the 2019 Midwinter Ball in Canberra.
‘What really happened at the Engadine McDonald’s in 1997?’ he said to the crowd as they erupted in laughter, eagerly awaiting his next remark.
‘It will remain the mystery of the ages.’
He has since told Kyle and Jackie O on their morning radio show that the rumour isn’t true.
Ms Tame’s tweet came as she was inundated with overwhelming support after the recently unearthed photo went viral, which she deleted on Monday.
But she was also met with some backlash from critics.
The dig was in response to rumours Mr Morrison s**t himself at Engadine McDonalds (pictured) after the Cronulla Sharks lost the 1997 Super League grand final
Grace Tame issued a brutal swipe at Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday night as she was met with a stream of support over the bong picture
Scott Morrison (pictured) is a well-known Cronulla Sharks tragic – with an urban legend persisting about his actions after one particular Grand Final
Daily Mail Australia doesn’t suggest Ms Tame had used the bong.
Many jumped to Ms Tame’s defence as several hashtags, including #PutYourBongsOut, popped up in her honour.
Some went as far as suggesting the photo had given her more credibility, or make her ‘even cooler’ than before.
Comedian Wil Anderson was among the most outspoken supporters and posted an old photo of himself pictured with a bong as online debate raged.
‘It’s hard but I forgive Grace,’ he joked in a follow-up tweet.
Anderson echoed the support by others by sharing their tweets, including Australian musician Ben Lee.
‘She just keeps getting better,’ the four-time ARIA award winning singer/songwriter wrote.
The Project host Peter Helliar joked the picture could even get Ms Tame a second nomination for Australian of the Year.
Grace Tame supporters hit back at the criticism aimed at the 2021 Australian of the Year by uploading her own memes poking fun at Prime Minister Scott Morrison
Comedian Wil Anderson pledged his support for Grace Tame by uploading an old photo of himself with a bong
The massive wave of support for Ms Tame extended to the world of politics.
‘Putting out photos of the much respected former Australian of the Year partying as a youth is beyond pathetic,’ Darcy Byrne, mayor of Sydney’s Inner West Council wrote.
‘Grace Tame’s manners are fine, it’s the politicians scraping the bottom of the barrel that need to learn about respect.’
Port Phillip deputy mayor Tim Baxter tweeted: ‘I’m the Deputy Mayor and I smoked bongs as a teenager. And I’ve still never been as cool as Grace Tame.’
Alex Turnbull, the son of former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also weighed into the debate.
‘Going after Grace Tame is extremely risky for any Liberal Party members under 40 especially some people in the house and senate. I’ll leave it at that. Don’t start stuff you can’t finish.’
ARIA award-winning musician Ben Lee was among the many who leapt to Ms Tame’s defence
Some suggested politicians behaved much worse than Ms Tame and couldn’t understand the fuss when the likes of Mr Morrison often had a beer or two for the cameras.
Others referred to the 60 Minutes interview featuring Mr Morrison and his wife Jenny which aired on Sunday night, in which the Prime Minister was filmed playing a ukulele.
‘I’d rather see Grace Tame with a bong than Scott Morrison with a ukulele literally any day of the week,’ one woman tweeted.
One meme had Ms Tame next to a grab of Ms Morrison sitting with her husband during the interview.
‘What’s worse? Being Next To A Bong or Being Next To A Nong,’ the meme was captioned.
Another meme edited Ms Tame out of the old image and photoshopped the Prime Minister playing the ukulele into the picture instead.
Wil Anderson (pictured) echoed the support of Grace Tame by others by sharing their tweets
Other supporters referred to the 60 Minutes interview featuring Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife Jenny
But not everyone jumped to Ms Tame’s defence.
‘Good grief this person was Australian of the year, we need to take a long, hard look at how she was selected and who selected her’, a reader commented online.
Another added: ‘Excellent response by the PM’s wife. Grace is really losing her message in her behaviour.
In the old photo from 2014, 19-year-old Ms Tame is seen sitting on a lounge with a friend, smiling with her eyes closed as she plays on her phone.
The 2021 Australian of the Year appears to be holding a bong upright with her left foot.
Ms Tame accompanied the post with a green plant symbol. She was sat next to a man who’s rolling a cigarette – with the green substance spread out on a vinyl record.
Ms Tame delivered an explosive speech at the National Press Club last week (pictured)
The image from Ms Tame’s youth was seized upon by her critics on Monday who found it buried in her Instagram feed.
‘Australian of the year?’ one person posted next to the eight-year-old picture.
The post was swiftly deleted by Tame, now 27, on Monday after questions from Daily Mail Australia about the image.
Ms Tame attracted further criticism after she weighed into the Engadine McDonalds incident on Monday night.
‘I really want to like Grace Tame but now she is jumping on the Engadine s******* incident. Can’t imagine Australian of the year Gustav Nossal for example being so petty even if he was caught with a bong,’ one person wrote.
Ms Tame has been consistently been in the news headlines over the past week, after completing her term as Australian of the Year and delivering a rousing speech at the National Press Club.
Hours earlier, Grace Tame (right) came under fire from Scott Morrison’s wife over her frosty exchange with the Prime Minister (left) at an Australian of the Year function at The Lodge
On 60 Minutes on Sunday night, Mr Morrison’s wife Jenny offered her opinion on Ms Tame’s now famous ‘side eye’ when greeting them at a morning tea at The Lodge before Australia Day.
Ms Tame was seen giving Mr Morrison a less than friendly handshake with a scowl on her face before throwing him an icy sideways glance.
‘I just found a little bit disappointing, because we were welcoming her in our home,’ Mrs Morrison said.
‘I just wish the focus had been on all the incredible people coming in.
‘I respect people that want to change things, stand up for their beliefs, and are strong, but I still think there are manners and respect.’
She was asked whether she wanted her daughters to look up to outspoken advocates such as Ms Tame.
‘I want my daughters to grow up to be fierce, strong, independent, amazing people. And I think they can still do that and show kindness to other people and be polite and have manners,’ Mrs Morrison replied.
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