Australian Open Tennis. Day 10. Womens semi final. Petra Kvitova vs Danielle Collins. Nicole Kidman watches the tennis along side Julie Bishop and Anna Wintour. Picture: Michael Klein
Australian Open Tennis. Day 10. Womens semi final. Petra Kvitova vs Danielle Collins. Nicole Kidman watches the tennis along side Julie Bishop and Anna Wintour. Picture: Michael Klein

Downer’s hilarious response to Wintour comments

ANNA Wintour's remarks about gay marriage have divided Liberal politcians, with Julie Bishop appearing to support them and Peter Dutton describing them as "a bit tacky".

But the best response so far has come from Australia's former High Commissioner to the UK, Alexander Downer, who shared an anecdote about a frosty encounter he claims to have had with the Vogue editor.

Mr Downer, who referred to Ms Wintour as "Anne", claimed on Twitter that he was "introduced to her at a function in London" last year and had no idea who she was.

"Hadn't heard of her so politely asked her what she did. She just turned her back and walked away. Can't blame her I guess but shockingly grand woman," he wrote.

Anna Wintour’s comments during her Australian Open trip have sparked backlash from conservatives. Picture: AFP
Anna Wintour’s comments during her Australian Open trip have sparked backlash from conservatives. Picture: AFP


Ms Wintour's brother Patrick - who is the editor of the UK Guardian - shot back in her defence:

 

Alexander Downer shared an alleged encounter with Anna Wintour on Twitter. Picture: Twitter
Alexander Downer shared an alleged encounter with Anna Wintour on Twitter. Picture: Twitter

Other Twitter users who claimed to have had encounters with the fashion icon dismissed Mr Downer's account, saying it was unlike her.

WINTOUR SLAMS PM OVER GAY ISSUES

In her keynote speech at the Australian Open Inspiration Series brunch, Ms Wintour said she was alarmed by the prime minister's record on LGBTQI rights "which seems backward in all senses" as the rest of the world "sang in celebration" when the country legalised same-sex marriage.

"Not everyone in power in Australia today seems to admire the country's leadership role. Like many of you, I've been alarmed by your prime minister's record on LGBTQ rights," she said.

Australia was the 26th country to legalise same sex marriage after it held a $122 million postal vote - which ultimately resulted in a 'Yes' vote.

In her address, Ms Wintour targeted Mr Morrison over the rights of same-sex and transgender children in Australian schools.

"That no one can be expelled from school for their orientation should not require clarification,'' she said.

"A government should protect its people, not make it unclear whether they will be accepted, and we are struggling with these issues in the US as well."

Ms Wintour referred to headlines about recent political debates on religious freedoms and anti-discrimination laws, the Safe Schools program and gay conversion therapy.

She also suggested she thought Scott Morrison's run as PM may be short lived, saying: "Fortunately, though, opportunities for leadership and change extend beyond the leaders of the moment."

Mr Morrison has previously said: "Our government does not support expulsion of students from religious non-state schools on the basis of their sexuality."

Anna Wintour watches the women’s semi final between Petra Kvitova vs Danielle Collins at the Australian Open alongside Nicole Kidman, Julie Bishop and Keith Urban. Picture: Michael Klein.
Anna Wintour watches the women’s semi final between Petra Kvitova vs Danielle Collins at the Australian Open alongside Nicole Kidman, Julie Bishop and Keith Urban. Picture: Michael Klein.


BISHOP CONCURS, ABBOTT DEMURS

Former foreign minister Julie Bishop appeared to back Ms Wintour's criticism of Mr Morrison and tennis legend Margaret Court after her words sparked backlash from conservatives.

Ms Bishop, who now sits on the backbench, was a guest at the event. She said Ms Wintour "had some pretty pertinent points to make."

Ms Bishop also sat with Ms Wintour, alongside Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban during the women's semi final between Petra Kvitova vs. Danielle Collins.

"The whole theme of the day was about embracing equality and diversity, " she told The Australian.

But when Mr Dutton was asked about it he disagreed, saying: "I thought it was a bit tacky actually, to be honest."

"Somebody coming here to criticise, to make a statement that wasn't factually correct anyway, is pretty shabby," he told Nine's Today show.

"I mean, she thrives on media and attention - good luck."

Former prime minister Tony Abbott also weighed in, saying Ms Wintour's speech was an "ignorant lecture" and said she had gotten her "facts wrong".

Anna Wintour with Baz Luhrmann, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban. Picture: AAP
Anna Wintour with Baz Luhrmann, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban. Picture: AAP


MARGARET COURT RETURNS SERVE

Australian tennis legend Margaret Court also hit back at Ms Wintour after the Vogue editor questioned why a stadium was named in Court's honour.

Ms Wintour, who is a major tennis fan, declared Court was a "champion on the court, but a meeting point for players of all nations, preferences and backgrounds should celebrate somebody that was a champion off the court as well."

"I find that it is inconsistent with the sport (of tennis) for Margaret Court's name to be on a stadium that does so much to bring all the people together across their differences," she said.

"This much I think is clear to anyone that understands the spirit and the joy of the game: intolerance has no place in tennis."

Ms Court dismissed the fashion editor's remarks.

"The saddest thing is someone coming from America and telling us in this nation what to do," Ms Court told The West Australian.

"I've loved my nation, played for my nation. There's probably no one who has been more supportive of, or spoke more highly of, the game of tennis."

Anna Wintour talks with Rod Laver ahead of the men's semi-final between Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas and Spain's Rafael Nadal. Picture: AP
Anna Wintour talks with Rod Laver ahead of the men's semi-final between Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas and Spain's Rafael Nadal. Picture: AP


The former world no. 1 holds the record for the most singles titles - 24 - in women's grand slam tournaments of all time.

The court was named after Court in 2003, cementing her as one of the most successful tennis players of all time during her career in the '60s and '70s.

Court is now a Pentecostal Christian minister in Perth who came under fire for her anti-LGBTQI remarks.

In 2017 she declared she would boycott Qantas for supporting same-sex marriage.

"I am disappointed that Qantas has become an active promoter for same-sex marriage. I believe in marriage as a union between a man and a woman as stated in the Bible," Court wrote in a letter that was published in the West Australian.

At the time the letter sparked many, including performers who were scheduled to play at the area, to call for a name change.

MARRIAGE DEBATE IMPACTED ON MENTAL HEALTH: STUDY

Ms Wintour's comments come at the same time new research suggests the negative media around same-sex marriage debate in Australia has caused greater psychological distress to LGBTQI people.

A report released this week by psychologists at University of Sydney asked more than 1300 people to take the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale - one of the most common measures of mental health.

The researchers found those who viewed negative media on SSM more than once a day were found to be 58 per cent higher in terms of distress than those who viewed them only once a week.

The mental health of LGBTQI people has also been found to be poor compared to the rest of the country, more likely than non-LGBTQI Australians to be diagnosed with a mental disorder or attempt self harm, according to the LGBTI health alliance.

The health risk was linked to frequent encounters with prejudice and discrimination.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce (left) Director of Tennis Australia Jayne Hrdlicka, Anna Wintour (third left), Baz Luhrmann (third right), Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban. Picture: AAP
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce (left) Director of Tennis Australia Jayne Hrdlicka, Anna Wintour (third left), Baz Luhrmann (third right), Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban. Picture: AAP