No Dad joke: Father’s Day now too ‘political’

No Dad joke: Father’s Day now too ‘political’, by Joe Kelly.

A heart-tugging television commercial celebrating Fath­er’s Day by promoting the ­special role of fathers in the lives of their children has been pulled after being deemed too “polit­ical” ahead of the government’s same-sex ­marriage postal ballot.

This year’s commercial — featuring a father singing his baby a lullaby — will not be broadcast after Free TV Australia, representing the free-to-air commercial networks, informed­ not-for-profit group Dads4Kids that its Father’s Day ads “likely contained political matter”.

Really? Political?

After being told this week that its ad had been rejected, Dads4Kids released a statement to The Weekend Australian yesterda­y expressing its disappointment, as opponents and suppor­t­ers of same-sex marriage defended the commercial.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott said the development was the latest example of how the “thought police” would operate in the “brave new world of same-sex marriage” while gay marriage advocate and Victorian Liberal MP Tim Wilson slammed the Free TV determin­ation as “ridiculous advice that should be ignored”.

“If you don’t like being bullied by activists, vote no,” Mr Abbott told The Weekend Australian. “If you don’t like political ­correctness, vote no, because it’s the best way you have to stop it in its tracks.”

In its statement, Dads4Kids said the majority of free-to-air TV networks across Australia had “graciously run these ads for free as a community service ­announcement” for 15 years. …

“It’s a tragedy that a political motive is now implied in any mention of fatherhood … Not everything is about same-sex marriage.”

Is that a white man being celebrated in the ad? Maybe that’s the problem, if both supporters and opponents of gay marriage defend the commercial.

Mr Wilson, who supports a Yes vote in the gay marriage survey, told The Weekend Australian he was surprised by the restrictions on the ad. “If the advice from Free TV’s lawyers requires political authorisation, it’s manifestly stupid­,” Mr Wilson said.

“First, there’s no legal requirement for advertisements to have authorisation on the postal survey under current law. Second, advertisements celebrating fatherhood are not political and Father’s Day has nothing to do with whether same-sex couples should marry.