Far-right commentator Katie Hopkins dumped by Big Brother after hotel quarantine allegations in Australia | Australia News
British far-right figure Katie Hopkins has been dumped as a cast member of Seven’s Big Brother VIP and will be leaving the country after breaking her contract, Guardian Australia can reveal.
Hopkins, 46, broadcast a live video of what she claimed to be a hotel room in Sydney on Saturday morning, describing the Covid-19 lockdowns as “the biggest hoax in human history” while joking about elaborate plans to break quarantine rules.
Home Secretary Karen Andrews on Saturday ordered an urgent review to find out whether Hopkins had violated his visa conditions by publicly flouting quarantine rules.
But the review was replaced with a decision to terminate his contract, according to Guardian Australia.
Talent contracts have a non-discretionary clause: do not bring the network into disrepute.
It is also a requirement for any foreign personality to comply with visa requirements.
Seven confirmed the decision on Sunday afternoon.
“Seven Network and Endemol Shine Australia confirm that Katie Hopkins is not a Big Brother VIP,” the network said. “Seven and Endemol Shine strongly condemn his irresponsible and reckless comments in hotel quarantine.”
Hopkins was hired by Shine rather than Seven.
Last year, Hopkins saw his Twitter account with 1.1 million subscribers permanently suspended for violating the platform’s “hateful conduct” policy.
Hopkins, who has been retweeted several times by former US President Donald Trump, has been removed from his post for “keeping Twitter safe,” according to the social media platform.
Hopkins had previously likened migrants to cockroaches and claimed that the photograph of a dead Syrian boy lying on a beach that sparked a wave of compassion across Europe was staged, while saying people with dementia should not “block” hospital beds.
With the production company making Big Brother VIP, Endemol Shine Australia and Channel Seven scrambled Sunday to respond to the growing crisis that threatened to eclipse the Tokyo Olympics broadcast that begins Friday at Seven.
Seven has reserved hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising and cannot afford the sponsors to pull out due to public pressure.
Toyota, Woolworths, Optus and McDonald’s top the list of major sponsors, while Harvey Norman, AAMI and HP are also on the list. Social media activists and the public began to target advertisers.
The government-ordered review comes as Labor says the federal government should never have granted Hopkins a visa or border waiver in the first place, releasing a ministerial briefing that outlines the minister’s powers to deny l entry to anyone considered a “controversial” visitor.
Greens Against Racism spokeswoman Mehreen Faruqi said Seven “has serious questions to answer” about why they have chosen to normalize racism on Australian television.
“Hopkins should never have been offered a platform to spit out his hate in the first place and Seven should not be taken down,” Senator Faruqi said.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce also suggested that Hopkins be deported, saying anyone who flouts Australian law should “pack their bongo and leave the country”.
Hopkins was allowed entry into the country despite tens of thousands of Australians stranded abroad and unable to return home due to reduced theft caps.
The limit on the number of international arrivals entering Australia via commercial flights has been halved from July 14 due to concerns from some prime ministers about the infectivity of the Delta variant of Covid-19.
Andrews said she asked the Australian Border Force to look into the case.
“It is despicable that anyone behaves in a way that puts our health officials and our community at risk,” Andrews said on Sunday.
“Yesterday I asked the Australian Border Force to immediately review the facts of this case and urgently review whether this person is meeting their visa requirements.
“The border forces reacted to this overnight and continue to do so today.”
She said the Big Brother candidates had been granted an exemption to enter the country “on the basis of support from the NSW government.”
“The NSW government has approved quarantine for Big Brother candidates above the quarantine cap,” Andrews said.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke also said temporary visa holders must “obey public health orders”.
“When visa requirements are not met, people may be subject to visa cancellation according to the law,” Hawke said on Twitter.
When asked if Hopkins should stay in the country after breaking quarantine rules, the Deputy Prime Minister said he would be happy to see her deported.
“I’m the one who wanted to send Johnny Depp’s dogs home, so I have no problem sending someone home who wants to break our laws,” Joyce told ABC.
“If you want to do this, pack your bongo and get out of the country.”
Acting Labor Home Affairs spokesman Andrew Giles released a ministerial briefing Andrews received when she took over the portfolio, obtained through freedom of information laws, which outline the powers the government under section 501 of the Migration Act.
The document says the law allows the minister to cancel or deny visas to people considered controversial visitors.
Giles said the minister had failed to use the powers at her disposal and accused her of hiding behind NSW for “what is the most basic responsibility of the national government”.
“Ms. Andrews was told about her powers – and her responsibility – to deal with people like the infamous Ms. Hopkins. Why did she ignore this, endangering workers and our social cohesion? “
The Australian Muslim Advocacy Network also criticized the move, writing to Prime Minister Scott Morrison asking if a personality assessment had been undertaken before his visa was granted.
“The decision to allow Katie Hopkins to enter Australia for public use is very controversial and should have triggered a serious personality assessment,” said AMAN’s letter from Rita Jabri-Markwell.
“Hopkins socialized and generalized the conspiracy theory of an” Islamic invasion “and” Islamic takeover “to a large audience, increasing the risk for families and communities who experience hate speech, harassment and threats in public places and other forms of hate crimes. “