Julia Gillard's misogyny speech voted 'most unforgettable' moment in Australian TV history

Former prime minister Julia Gillard’s 2012 “misogyny speech” has been voted the most unforgettable moment of Australian TV history, after leading Guardian Australia’s poll since voting opened on 24 January.

The parliamentary speech – in which Gillard accused then-opposition leader Tony Abbott and the Coalition of sexism, and proclaimed “the government will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man” – was criticised as opportunistic by many Canberra journalists at the time, before going viral among the Australian public and making headlines around the world.

The speech was voted number one by 3,391 Guardian readers, while Gough Whitlam’s dismissal speech came in a distant #2, with 1,383 votes.

It’s perhaps telling of the demise of traditional television that the top spot was taken by a moment which most Australians would have watched online: on YouTube alone, the ABC’s video of the speech has been watched more than 3.3m times.

Gillard's misogyny speech is absolutely smashing this poll atm but I wonder how many people actually watched it on television, as opposed to online?https://t.co/Mj0YXpl9Ic

— Josephine Tovey (@Jo_Tovey) January 26, 2020

The Chaser’s invasion of Apec – a revelatory oral history of which featured in Guardian Australia’s story series, which ran alongside the poll – came in at #3. It was followed by Cathy Freeman’s win at the 2000 Olympics, Scott and Charlene’s wedding on Neighbours and, somewhat unexpectedly, A Current Affair’s 2008 chastisement of infamous teen Corey Worthington, which hit the #6 spot – a reminder, perhaps, that people were voting for moments they’d never forget, for better or for worse.

Kevin Rudd’s 2008 apology to Indigenous Australians was voted in at #7 (11 places ahead of actor John Howard’s satirical version of same), Nakkiah Lui and Miranda Tapsell’s trashing of Get Krack!n came at #8, and Gough Whitlam’s dismissal made another showing at #9, thanks to comedian Norman Gunston’s unlikely appearance at that seminal moment of Australian history.

The #10 spot went to the “100-metre-track” skit on John Clarke and Bryan Dawes’ The Games, followed by John Aloisi’s World Cup-qualifying goal in 2005, and Molly’s death on A Country Practice.

Sporting moments featured highly: at #13, #14 and #15 respectively were Bob Hawke’s cheeky advice for bosses after Australia won the 1983 America’s Cup; Adam Goodes’ celebratory spear throw in 2015; and Stephen Bradbury’s unlikely win at the 2002 Winter Olympics.

But there were some shock twists, too. The death of child character Lou on Australian drama series Love My Way, endorsed by Guardian Australia editor Lenore Taylor and remembered through tears by many of her staff, came in all the way down at #20. While prolific among the nominations, dramatic deaths in general did not feature as highly as expected in the final results – with Patrick’s death on Offspring reaching #23, the death of Josh’s mother Rose on Please Like Me at #25, Judy’s death on Seven Little Australians at #36 and Charlie Cousins’ death on Bellbird at #43.

Each of these morbid scenes apparently fade into the deep recesses of memory when compared to “Bronson’s pissing contest in Round the Twist”, a scene from the 1990s after-school program which surprised almost everyone by climbing to #19.

We're honoured to be counted among such classic TV moments as 'Bronson wins a pissing contest in Round the Twist' https://t.co/AERsiE9mqe

— 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝙲𝚑𝚊𝚜𝚎𝚛 (@chaser) January 24, 2020

The bottom spot in the poll went to Ben Ross, who broke his arm on the Footy Show in 2015 and won only eight votes for the pleasure. Perhaps that horrifying moment of live TV was one everyone tried hard to forget.

View the full results of Guardian Australia’s poll

UPDATE, 3pm AEST: We are not the only ones surprised by where Bronson placed. Our happy winner has announced she is “delighted” to have beat him.

Beating Bronson from Round the Twist?!?! That’s a competition I never imagined being in. But delighted all the same. https://t.co/vc4MGHbubq

— Julia Gillard (@JuliaGillard) February 7, 2020


Steph Harmon

The GuardianTramp

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