Aussie's first bloke in strife for misfired joke

Last updated 15:34 29/01/2013
Julia Gillard and Tim Mathieson
WHO'S LAUGHING NOW?: Leader of Australia, Julia Gillard, snapped with her partner Tim Mathieson.

Relevant offers


Nobel peace prize buzz includes Pope Francis and Angela Merkel 40 New Zealanders being held at Christmas Island immigration detention centre $9.7m payout to family of unarmed black man gunned down by US police officer No place left to die on Greek island Lesbos for refugees lost at sea Ben Carson says armed jews would have 'diminished' holocaust Australia's snakes awake from winter slumber Russia denies missiles landed in Iran as Syrian clashes intensify French TV's anti-sexist advert pulled, for being sexist Russian cruise missiles reportedly miss Syria, land in Iran by accident Iberia flight 6313 makes frightening low landing in Costa Rica

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard says her partner has done the right thing by apologising for a "poor taste" joke he made about prostate cancer and Asian women.

Tim Mathieson delivered the joke to members of the West Indian cricket team at a reception in Canberra on Monday as Gillard stood behind him.

"We can get a blood test for it but the digital examination is the only true way to get a correct reading on your prostate so make sure you go and do that, and perhaps look for a small Asian female doctor is probably the best way," he said, to laughter.

Mathieson today said his comments were aimed at raising awareness about prostate cancer and the need for men to get regular checks.

"It was meant as a joke and on reflection I accept it was in poor taste," he said in a brief statement issued by the prime minister's office.

"I apologise for any offence caused."

Gillard said her partner was passionate about promoting men's health.

"He does try and, you know, persuade people to make sure that they get the checks done that are recommended," she told ABC radio.

"Obviously there's various ways of getting that message across but he's certainly acknowledged that the joke cracked last night was in poor taste.

"Tim's apologised ... and that was the right thing for him to do."

Federal Victorian Liberal MP Kelly O'Dwyer said Mathieson's comment was tasteless and lacked judgment.

But shadow attorney-general George Brandis said while the joke was "slightly unfortunate", political correctness in Australia had gone too far.

"The joke was in poor taste but that having been said, I don't think we want to have in this country a culture of finger-wagging and confected outrage," he said.

Australian Greens leader Christine Milne, who was at the function on Monday, said it was good for people to think twice about their off-the-cuff remarks.

"Whilst part of our culture is larrikinism, it has led to some pretty unfortunate consequences in the way people tend to express that," she told reporters in Canberra.

Ad Feedback


Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content