SBS and Scott McIntyre announce confidential settlement over ANZAC Day tweet sacking

Multicultural broadcaster SBS has reached a confidential settlement with its former sports reporter Scott McIntyre after he launched legal action against the broadcaster claiming it did “not follow due process” when it fired him.

The case was due back in court today with the sports reporter contesting the sacking, claiming SBS over-stepped its powers by axing the journalist “without a proper investigation” and that he was entitled to air his political opinion without risk of losing his job.

McIntyre was fired after he sent a series of Anzac Day tweets which management described as “inappropriate and disrespectful” towards ANZAC troops, with SBS managing director, Michael Ebeid, saying McIntyre had compromised the “integrity of the network and audience trust”.

Today McIntyre’s lawyer, Josh Bornstein, fired back tweeting: “I dedicate the settlement of Scott McIntyre’s court case to the vigilantes & hypocrites who got him sacked”Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 9.19.01 am

Asked what he meant by the phrase “vigilantes & hypocrites” Bornstein accused former Communications Minister and now Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, News Corp columnist Chris Kenny and former Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson of seeking to “crush” free speech.

“The vigilantes & hypocrites who sought to have Scott sacked and his freedom of speech suppressed after the event included (then Communications Minister) Malcolm Turnbull, (News Corp columnist) Chris Kenny and (Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner) Tim Wilson,” said Bornstein.

“These are people who speak loftily about freedom of speech and when it is inconvenient to them ditch it and try and crush someone whose views they disagree with. They should be ashamed of themselves.”

Scott McIntyre has now settled his court case.

Scott McIntyre has now settled his court case.

McIntyre’s tweets on ANZAC Day were seen by some as disrespectful and included one which read: “Remembering the summary execution, widespread rape and theft committed by those ‘brave’ Anzacs in Egypt, Palestine and Japan”.

In a joint statement from both parties the two sides confirmed they had settled the dispute.

“SBS and Mr McIntyre have now resolved their dispute over the termination of his employment on 26 April 2015,” said the statement.

“SBS acknowledges that Mr McIntyre was a well-respected sports reporter with SBS for a period spanning over a decade, and SBS is disappointed that it was unable to continue with his services following his Tweets.

“Mr McIntyre acknowledges that the views expressed in his Tweets on 25 April, 2015, were his views and that they were contentious. Mr McIntyre regrets any attribution of his views to SBS and acknowledges that SBS was drawn into controversy following the expression of his views.”

Neither side commented on whether there was a financial settlement. McIntyre has yet to find new employment since losing his job at SBS.

Nic Christensen 


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