Barrister and film producer Charles Waterstreet has withdrawn from tonight’s planned special episode of the ABC‘s panel series Q&A, which is set to focus on the #MeToo movement.
Aunty confirmed that Waterstreet had withdrawn a short while ago, citing “concerns about his appearance expressed to him by the NSW Bar Association.” The short statement concluded by asserting the network is “[disappointed] Mr. Waterstreet will not be able to contribute to the perspectives canvassed in tonight’s discussion.”
The ABC previously confirmed the infamous barrister had been tapped to be a panelist on the show just two days ago, after he revealed he had accepted an invitation to appear on the panel in late January.
Waterstreet was an extremely controversial inclusion on the panel, given he was accused of sexually harassing a 21-year-old law student just last year.
In January, Waterstreet spoke to Fairfax Media after confirming he accepted the ABC’s invitation. At the time he backed his inclusion on the panel in, suggesting implied comparisons between himself and Harvey Weinstein were tenuous and superficial.
I note reference to my name linked with Harvey Weinstein in some minor media [outlets]. The only thing I have in common with Harvey Weinstein is that we’ve made films. Why should I be assumed to be a perpetrator? I look forward to speaking on my own behalf.
His inclusion on the show drew ardent criticism from anti-sexual assault groups at the time.
With Waterstreet withdrawing, tonight’s #MeToo Q&A panel will now feature Catharine Lumby, professor of media at Macquarie University, Janet Albrechtsen, opinion columnist at The Australian, employment lawyer Josh Bornstein, and Isabella Manfredi, lead singer of The Preatures.
Actor Rachel Griffiths was also reportedly scheduled to appear on the panel, but withdrew previously.
Tonight’s Q&A special, hosted and moderated by journalist Virginia Trioli, will air on ABC at 9pm.Source: ABC