• Andrew Bolt responds to comments made on his show (MAP AND PAGE)Source: MAP AND PAGE
Andrew Bolt has said critics of his show who have called for a boycott, after comments that Aboriginal women are ‘cash cows’ were made by a guest, are distracting from real issues.
Danny Teece-Johnson

15 Jul 2015 - 11:55 AM  UPDATED 15 Jul 2015 - 5:06 PM

The controversial TV show offended many Aboriginal Australians after former Federal Labor MP Gary Johns referred to Aboriginal Women on welfare as "cash cows" last Sunday, telling audiences they are kept pregnant to collect welfare payments. 

The show's host Andrew Bolt defended the comments by Johns and told told SBS and NITV they were not racist or intended to offend.

"Gary Johns made important points in a debate. They were in no way racist, particularly given that he specifically noted he was talking of poor people, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal. Did you not hear that bit?," Mr Bolt said in an email.

He also accused critics of playing "the outrage game" and said it was a distraction from the issue of welfare culture.

"Stop playing the outrage game and engage with the real issues that Gary is so passionate about – the deadly welfare culture that keeps poor people poor. Screaming “racist” is pathetic, a transparent attempts to shut down debates which in this case threaten to upset the welfare and victim carts. If you are really so exercised by racism, why not take up Gary’s argument against racist proposals to change the constitution to divide us on the grounds of race? That’s real racism, staring you in the face."

Yesterday actor and writer Nakkiah Lui saidThe Bolt Show perpetuates hate and should be boycotted over the airing of the comments.

"My question for the people who say they take Indigenous affairs seriously, to the non-Indigenous leaders of this country, to Tony Abbott, to Bill Shorten, why aren’t you saying anything? Because here we have someone who is comparing us to farm animals and we’re meant to believe that you have our interests at heart, that you’re on our side, so put your money where your mouth is."

Indigenous journalist Amy McQuire said Johns should apologise for the comments.

"I think they were completely offensive and I think Gary Johns should be made to apologise to all Aboriginal women for basically not only just offending, but defaming us as a people."

Mr Johns has made controversial comments before, such as saying people on welfare should be on contraception, but the comments on the weekend have ignited debate about what constitutes freedom of speech.

“A lot of poor women in this country, a large proportion of whom are Aboriginal, are used as cash cows,” he said while discussing domestic violence statistics on The Bolt Report.

“They are kept pregnant and producing children for the cash. Now, that has to stop.”

Andrew Bolt has built a career on his inflammatory style and unashamedly conservative agenda.

But as the federal government comes down hard on the ABC's Q&A over questions of "editorial ethics", the show remains a protected species, say critics.

“It’s so outrageous we can have a national debate about whether putting a man like that on national TV, but we allow Andrew Bolt on TV every Sunday," said Ms McQuire.

"There’s an inconsistency there, and it shows in a way that Andrew Bolt is a protected species. I don’t see why that’s the case other than he has a sizeable audience and he makes money for Channel Ten and The Herald Sun."

Ms Lui said The Bolt Report perpetuates racial hatred and added nothing to national debate on matters of politics and issues concerning indigenous Australians.

“I think Gary Johns, a pathetic excuse for a human being, has basically added to the myth, to the rhetoric that Aboriginal people are less than white Australians that Aboriginal people are animals,” she said.

“They perpetuate the myth that Aboriginal people are less than other people in this country and this isn’t a question of free speech, this is racial discrimination.”

Comment has been sought from Channel Ten and Gary Johns.