During a discussion about rehabilitation and a national paedophile register she said, “We accept that gay people can’t change who they love and who they’re sexually attracted to, so why do we think that people who are sexually attracted to children can be rehabilitated?
“Name and shame them. I want to know where they are.”
But on social media many were disappointed by the context.
I can’t believe Mia Freedman just compared gay people to paedophiles #theprojecttv Shocking disgusting comment
— Julie Carlile (@largepizzas) October 16, 2014
— Gay guy on level 3 (@differentworx) October 16, 2014
On her website Freedman wrote a lengthy response, which noted:
Let me be absolutely clear: I unreservedly apologise to anyone I have upset, confused or outraged and to anyone who thought I would ever ever ever stand with bigotry or homophobia.
I know the facts: there is no link between homosexuality and offending against children. And after the hundreds of hours of live TV and radio I have done, I should have known better; it’s dangerous to try and make a complex point about such an important topic in 10 seconds.
You run a huge risk of your words being twisted, taken out of context and fed to the enemies of your cause. Last night I forgot that and I’m incredibly distressed that the result has been more pain and suffering for the gay community.
She also agreed, “Many people have angrily pointed out that I could have used heterosexuality as a comparison instead of homosexuality. So why didn’t I? I could have – and in hindsight I really, really wish I had.”
Freedman’s point about trying to discuss considered topics in a live, snappy news format is a valid point, and it certainly requires some skill to do this without resulting in answers that risk becoming out of context.
TEN declined to comment further.