Two controversial entrants in the Cleo Bachelor of the Year competition have prompted formal complaints: both related to questions of sexuality.
Openly gay Brett Humble was dropped from the list after editorial staff at Cleo became aware he was a high-profile contestant with his male partner on Channel 9’s The Hothouse.
Humble told Sydney Star Observer he would file a complaint against Cleo with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.
If I was gay or bisexual and I actually wasn’t known to the public, it would have been okay, Humble told the Star.
Cleo said in an official statement having a gay bachelor in our line-up would have been quite deceiving for our readers, a demographic of predominantly females aged 18 to 28.
Humble told the Star the argument was flawed.
It’s a bit na? to think that they’re only targeting women -¦ This edition of the magazine is picked up by a lot of gay men and actually flicked through, Humble said.
And I respect that their target audience is 18 to 28 females. But by the same token I’ve dated females and even been engaged to one. How can they know what I’m going to do in the future?
Humble also said a number of other previous bachelors were ineligible because they were gay, or were straight but in long-term relationships or married.
If they’re in a long-term relationship, then they can only offer the exact same level of date as I can, he said.
Humble isn’t the only Cleo bachelor contestant to come under scrutiny. Last week The Sydney Morning Herald questioned the validity of cabaret singer Hayden Tee’s presence in the bachelor list given his huge gay fan-base, prompting a response from Tee’s agent, Les Solomon.
I feel we must not get confused with camp as anything to do with sexual preference, Solomon told SMH. In the two years I have known Hayden I have known him to have had interest in women.
Following that report, fellow cabaret singer Phil Scott contacted New Mardi Gras festival organisers, suggesting they think carefully about including Tee’s variety show MufTee in the 2005 program. Scott recently chaired a Queer Arts forum for NMG.
Chris Murray of NMG said the festival program was still being finalised.
Tee told Sydney Star Observer he was approached by Cleo to appear in the list and was flattered, although he admitted he felt a cabaret singer was an odd choice.
As far as his sexuality was concerned, Tee said: I think anyone who leads an interesting personal life is bound to end up with a question mark on their head. I’m quite happy with the mystery, personally.