MP speaks out about 'enlarged boobs' being used in news image

MP speaks out about 'enlarged boobs' being used in news image

MP speaks out about 'enlarged boobs' being used in news image

Georgie Purcell / X

Australian MP Georgie Purcell has called out a news channel after they posted a doctored image of her that enlarged her breasts and exposed her midriff.

The photo appeared in a Nine New bulletin after Purcell criticised the Victorian government's rejection of a duck hunting ban.

Purcell, the Animal Justice MP, took to Twitter/X to condemn the photo.

"[H]aving my body and outfit photoshopped by a media outlet was not on my bingo card.

"Note the enlarged boobs and outfit to be made more revealing.

"Can't imagine this happening to a male MP."

Nine News apologised, claiming the blame lied on "automation by Photoshop", referring to an AI tool used to expand pictures. With Nine News Melbourne boss Hugh Nailon apologising "unreservedly" to Purcell for the "graphic error".

"This did not meet the high editorial standards we have."

But in a statement, a spokesperson for Adobe told the BBC: "Any changes to this image would have required human intervention and approval."

Speaking to the BBC, Purcell said seeing the image on live TV was "certainly confronting".

"What has happened to me in the past 24 hours is just something that would never, ever happen to a male politician."

On social media, many showed support for Purcell and expressed their outrage at the image.

Whilst Purcell accepted Nine's apology, she said she was skeptical of the explanation given.

But if it was an accident, Purcell said the incident raised concerns about AI's impact on women in public life.

"This is not just some random person on the internet. This is a organisation with a lot of staff and a lot of resources that frankly should know better."

Purcell says the image sparked existing sexism directed towards her, due to her working as a stripper to support herself through law school.

"[They are] criticising me, telling me to get back on the pole, like weaponising it against me," she said.

Australian politics has long faced accusations of a sexist environment. With a landmark report in 2021 finding a third of employees in federal parliament had been sexually harassed.

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