By 1News

This article was originally published on 1News on June 13, 2022

Last week, actress Rebel Wilson was outed by one of Australia’s most well-known, and most-read newspapers.

“Coming out, Rebel style” the headline declared, published on the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) website and plonked onto social media timelines around the world.

The report, written by columnist Andrew Hornery proudly claimed to have the scoop on Wilson’s sexuality, declaring she was dating a woman.

Frankly, the article made my stomach turn.

Instead of letting Wilson work her sexuality out herself, and tell people on her terms, it was splashed across the internet.

Thankfully, it has gone down about as well as a Nickelback song at a gay bar. Badly.

Wilson had shared an image to Instagram with her girlfriend before the SMH story was published - but only because the paper had forced her hand by saying they were about to publish if she didn't give them a comment.

"I thought I was searching for a Disney Prince… but maybe what I really needed all this time was a Disney Princess," wrote Wilson on Instagram.

1News was among the many outlets to run the news, believing it was her choice to announce her relationship at that time.

Upon reporting her new girlfriend, the SMH wrote that Wilson’s choice to ignore media queries was “underwhelming”.

Wilson and the Australian public have been quick to call out the article for what it is:

Irresponsible, salacious, and frankly shameful.

We like to claim that we’re living in a fully tolerant society, where the vast spectrum of sexuality and gender is widely accepted.

That’s not the case.


In 2022, people chose not to come out (as is their right) for a variety of reasons. They might still be working things out, it might not be safe for them to be open about their sexuality, or they could have concerns about the impact on their career.

LGBTQ+ people face discrimination in the workplace, sexuality pay gaps, high rates of domestic abuse, and a long list of countries where being transgender or anything other than heterosexual is punishable by death.

Living in countries like Australia and New Zealand, it’s extremely easy to think the fight for LGBTQ+ rights is over. The fact is there are still many factors that making coming out difficult for some people, and so much work to be done.

Bevan Shields, the editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, has already claimed the paper wasn’t reporting on her sexuality. He reframes the story, as if the SMH was merely engaging in a bit of celebrity gossip and says the paper would’ve reported on Wilson’s new partner regardless of whether they were a man or woman.

“Like other mastheads do every day, 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.”

“Wilson made the decision to publicly disclose her new partner - who had been a feature of her social media accounts for months.”

That argument shows a lack of understanding of the pressures around coming out.

However, it didn’t end there. In the initial editorial, columnist Andrew Hornery, said “in a perfect world, “outing” same-sex celebrity relationships should be a redundant concept in 2022."

He then, one sentence later, acknowledged “we do not live in a perfect world.”

Hornery said the paper had been respectful, because they’d given Wilson two days to comment on her new relationship as if she was some high-profile politician caught up in a scandal.

Make no mistake here. Rebel Wilson didn’t come out of the closet.

She was pushed out, and had the door locked behind her.

Top Image: Rebel Wilson with her partner Ramona Agruma (Source: Supplied)

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