Rebel Wilson came out publicly after she received an email from a reporter, giving her 1.5 days to provide comment for a story revealing she was in a relationship with a woman.
Information regarding this horrific violation of her privacy comes only days after support from celebrity friends and fans flooded in when Rebel Wilson's girlfriend news popped up in their feed, via an adorable post from the Aussie actor.
Needless to say, when Andrew Hornery, a columnist at the Sydney Herald, chose to reveal that the publication had intended to expose the actor's private life - he was widely criticized.
The column read, "In a perfect world, 'outing' same-sex celebrity relationships should be a redundant concept in 2022. Love is love, right? As Rebel Wilson knows, we do not live in a perfect world."
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"So, it was with an abundance of caution and respect that this media outlet emailed Rebel Wilson's representatives on Thursday morning," he continued, "giving her two days to comment on her new relationship with LA leisure wear designer Ramona Agruma, before publishing a single word."
Perhaps the most shocking part of the column was when he chose to criticize the star for posting about her new relationship, rather than let them publish a piece about her private life. Or as he put it, she, "opted to gazump the story." Adding, "her choice to ignore our discreet, genuine and honest queries was, in our view, underwhelming."
Sydney Morning Herald really out there complaining that Rebel Wilson “gazumped” their threat of outing her on their terms by posting about her own life on her own terms! What a mindblowing piece to write! pic.twitter.com/2yLCy6ZryhJune 11, 2022
Subsequently, both the columnist and the paper's editor have taken down the original column and issued apologies in The Sydney Morning Herald (opens in new tab), claiming they were just undertaking standard journalistic protocol.
Andrew said, "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."
It's devastating to think that Rebel Wilson came out publicly owing to unfair pressures from a publication - taking away her own right to do so when she chose. In response to the social media storm surrounding this column, Rebel tweeted, "Thanks for your comments, it was a very hard situation but trying to handle it with grace."
According to LGBTandall, "'outing' is when someone discloses the sexual orientation or gender identity of an LGBT+ person without their consent." Outing is regarded as incredibly damaging, harmful, and an invasion of privacy. Sadly it has provided splashy headlines for tabloids over the years. Examples include George Michael, Portia De Rossi, and Ricky Martin among many others.
Luckily, as the world moves away from thinking it's okay to take the autonomy of members of LGBT+ people regarding their personal identities - this practice has largely died out. Apart from being entirely unethical, unfair, and a violation - it's frowned upon in the media world and among the general public too.
LGBT+ charity Stonewall spoke BBC News (opens in new tab) about the paper's behavior and said, “Coming out is a deeply personal decision. Whether, when and how to come out should be decided by the individual, entirely on their terms."
Adding, “It is simply not OK to ‘out’ LGBTQ+ people or put pressure on us to come out. Media outlets should take care not to sensationalize LGBTQ+ lives and relationships.”
Aoife is Junior News Editor at woman&home.
She's an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.
Formerly Aoife was a contributing writer at Bustle and her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica, EVOKE and her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.
Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, hot yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.
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