Rebel Wilson addresses backlash to newspaper that tried to "out" her
13 June 2022, 15:47 | Updated: 13 June 2022, 15:59
Sydney Morning Herald and columnist Andrew Hornery have now issued an apology to Rebel.
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Rebel Wilson has commented on an Australian publication almost "outing" her following intense backlash.
On Friday (Jun 10), Rebel revealed she is in a relationship with a woman, introducing her girlfriend fashion designer Ramona Agruma on Instagram. While Rebel didn't specify exactly how she identifies, fans were quick to congratulate her and welcome her to the LGBTQ+ community.
The next day, Sydney Morning Herald revealed that they had known about the relationship before Rebel's Instagram post. In fact, columnist Andrew Hornery appeared to threaten that if Rebel did not respond to their email about her relationship within two days then he would make it public, subsequently outing her. But Rebel beat them to the punch and that angered Andrew.
He scathed: "Wilson opted to gazump the story, posting about her new 'Disney Princess' on Instagram early Friday morning, the same platform she had previously used to brag about her handsome ex-boyfriend, wealthy American beer baron Jacob Busch."
The article goes on to state that "sexual orientation is no longer something to be hidden, even in Hollywood".
Exerts of the article went viral and sparked backlash with people stating that it's never ok to put pressure on people to come out before they're ready.
Rebel has now addressed the online backlash, replying to a tweet, which read: "Apparently it wasn't Rebel Wilson's choice to come out – the SMH have admitted to giving her a heads up two days in advance that they were going to out her."
Rebel tweeted: "Thanks for your comments, it was a very hard situation but trying to handle it with grace." The actress also liked multiple supportive tweets.
i am so beyond disgusted at this. turns out rebel wilson only came out to avoid being forcefully outed and now that newspaper is pissed at her for ruining their scoop?? so they wrote this mess?? i am so angry and so sorry for rebel, no one deserves this. pic.twitter.com/PTnTqzr9VI— theresa 🌈 (@sapphoslibrary) June 11, 2022
Coming out is often a long, scary process, with many beats. Self-realisation, telling friends & family, a first relationship. I thought the press forcing people to out themselves, regardless of whether or not they were ready, was a thing of the past. I must have been mistaken.— Matt Lucas (@RealMattLucas) June 12, 2022
I’ve just read this @smh piece 3 times to make sure that I wasn’t misreading. The publication messaged Rebel Wilson saying they would out her in 2 days - and is now complaining that she chose to announce her relationship with a woman herself. Quite astonishing. pic.twitter.com/qiPZkYFmka— Megha Mohan (@meghamohan) June 11, 2022
In case you were wondering how Pride Month is going, the @smh got in touch with Rebel Wilson to say they’d be outing her in the next few days, so when Rebel came out herself the journalists are throwing a tantrum that she robbed them of an exclusive.— Dr. Bodie A. Ashton (@manwithoutatan) June 11, 2022
Reading the news about @RebelWilson and her horrible dealings with an Australian paper reminds me exactly of the situation with our Steo and the sun newspaper in the UK. How can this be possible today ? Rebel I hope you are ok and you have the strength and love to rise above. X— Ronan Keating (@ronanofficial) June 11, 2022
Fucking shameful by the Sydney Morning Herald. Acting like they were being generous by giving Rebel Wilson a 2-day deadline to come out before outing her themselves, then getting arsey because she called their bluff against her will. Never has @smh been a more accurate username pic.twitter.com/v2SDZHVx9s— Chris Scullion (@scully1888) June 11, 2022
The Sydney Morning Herald has now removed the column about Rebel's new relationship and the columnist has apologised.
The publication said: "We simply asked questions and as standard practice included a deadline for a response. I had made no decision about whether or what to publish, and the Herald’s decision about what to do would have been informed by any response Wilson supplied."
Andrew admitted he "mishandled" the situation and that Rebel was well within her right not to reply to his email. "I genuinely regret that Rebel has found this hard. That was never my intention. But I see she has handled it all with extraordinary grace. As a gay man I’m well aware of how deeply discrimination hurts. The last thing I would ever want to do is inflict that pain on someone else," Andrew wrote.
He continued: "It is not the Herald’s business to “out” people and that is not what we set out to do. But I understand why my email has been seen as a threat. The framing of it was a mistake.
"The Herald and I will approach things differently from now on to make sure we always take into consideration the extra layer of complexities people face when it comes to their sexuality."