Carly Findlay speaks out about offensive questioning after Jon Faine interview

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Disability activist Carly Findlay has spoken of her disappointment at offensive questioning by a veteran ABC broadcaster.

Ms Findlay, who grew up at Walla and Gerogery West and is now based in Melbourne, said she felt like she did a “good job” when host Jon Faine “suggested my face would be good at Halloween”.

Disability activist Carly Findlay was almost lost for words at offensive questioning by Jon Faine.

“Today was really hard, and I expected to be treated better,” she said.

Ms Findlay, who lives with a rare and painful skin condition and regularly speaks on television, radio and panels, was invited onto Jon Faine’s program on Wednesday to discuss people’s attitudes to disability. But she was left almost lost for words afterFaine’s line of questioning.

“I’ve never met you before,”the veteran broadcaster said at the start of the interview. “You look as if you’re a burns victim … It can’t be good on Halloween.”

Ms Findlay laughed off the comment before recounting how one of the most offensive things anyone hadever asked her was whether she could have sex.

Faine responded, “Hang on, what’s the answer?”

Later on Wednesday Ms Findlay posted on her website that she had been asked onto the program with Faine andSally Warharft on ABC Melbourne to “demystify microaggressions that I (and other disabled people) face regularly”.

“I think the interview demonstrates the microaggressions I face regularly,” she said.

“Sally invited me on the show after seeing me speak at the Wheeler Centre last month, and told me she is mystified and disappointed by aspects of today’s conversation.I am… still processing.”

Broadcaster Jon Faine.

“I work (unpaid) with ABC Radio regularly. I love it and am so grateful – and hope for more opportunities.

“I was genuinely nervous about the interview this morning, mostly about the power imbalance when discussing the subject matter.

“Itproves what I was talking about with microaggressions. It can happen as I walk down the street and in the studio from a seasoned broadcaster.

“I wonder whether these sorts of things are asked of other marginalised people. The way the interview was conducted is not what I expected from the standards of the ABC.”

MsFindlay said although the interview left her feeling “deeply uncomfortable”, the online support in the wake of the segment hadbeen overwhelming.

ABC TV’s Julia Zemiro has labelled parts of the interview “so inappropriate”.

“Interview skills lacking, Jon,”she wrote. “Compassion for one. Thank you Carly for your work.”

An ABC Radio spokesman admitted the comments were offensive.

“Jon intended no offence to Carly, but accepts that a number of his questions and comments were insensitive and sincerely apologises for any distress that she has felt as a result of the interview,”he said.

Border Mail

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