Christopher Pyne parody: Video shows minister as Queen singer Freddie Mercury singing Another One Bites the Dust
The WA division of Labor has deleted a parody music video it posted on Twitter in the wake of Christopher Pyne’s decision to quit politics after suffering a swift backlash.
The 36-second video superimposed Mr Pyne’s face on a clip of Queen singer Freddie Mercury performing Another One Bites the Dust.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton featured as other members of the band.
The implication was obvious — Mr Pyne was the latest in an increasingly long line of senior Liberals not recontesting their seats at the elections.
“Homophobic. An error in judgment at best, or malicious intent at worst,” one user wrote.
“This is spectacularly poor form I can’t even. Get in the sea,” said another.
“You can do your own research on how many times people have insinuated that Chris is gay. So to photoshop his face on a gay icon is spectacularly poor form.”
The video has now been removed from Twitter.
But it is still on WA Labor’s Facebook page, where the reception has been more positive.
“I sing this song every time I hear another one quits,” wrote one Facebook user.
“I wish there were an emoji to express love and laughter at the same time,” said another.
The clip has 228,000 views and has been shared more than 7000 times.
In the comments section underneath, Labor has asked its followers to donate to its federal election campaign.
A spokesman for Mr Pyne declined to comment on the video.
Meanwhile, WA Labor’s state secretary Matt Dixon told Sky News there was “nothing intentionally homophobic” about it.
“Our feedback has been very well received. On Twitter some have tried to view it in another light which was never intended,” Mr Dixon said.
“WA Labor has a long and proud history of supporting and working with the LGBTIQ community.
“People should enjoy the video in the spirit it was intended as a comic use of a classic song to draw attention to another senior minister abandoning Scott Morrison’s government.”
He said WA Labor wished Mr Pyne all the best in his retirement.
Mr Pyne has faced barbs about his supposedly feminine mannerisms throughout his political career, and has always taken them in stride.
Julia Gillard famously labelled Mr Pyne a “mincing poodle” when she was deputy prime minister, mocking the Liberals for making him manager of opposition business instead of sticking with Tony Abbott, who had done the job in the Howard government.
“In a choice between macho and mincing, I would have gone for macho myself,” Ms Gillard said.
“The leader of the opposition, faced with the choice of a doberman or a poodle, has gone for the poodle.”
At the time Mr Pyne said he was not offended, and responded with a savage remark of his own.
“The argy-bargy of Question Time has never fazed me,” he told ABC radio.
“I know that Julia likes to outshine the prime minister Kevin Rudd in Question Time each day, which is not very difficult, because he is tremendously boring.”
On Saturday, Mr Pyne said it was time to retire “while people are asking me to stay”.
“I’m confident that I leave my seat in good shape. I’m sure the Liberal Party will retain Sturt at the coming election,” he said.
On that subject, South Australian Premier Steven Marshall’s chief of staff James Stevens has resigned to contest Mr Pyne’s vacated seat.
He will need to win Liberal preselection first — though he appears to have Mr Pyne’s unofficial blessing.
The outgoing minister told reporters Mr Stevens was “a very fine individual” and “fits the criteria” to be his successor.
Mr Pyne, who was first elected to parliament at the age of 25, has held Sturt since 1993. He is now planning to move into the private sector.
Originally published as ‘Spectacularly bad’ parody taken down