Courtney stated that a girl wearing pants was a 'strange' thing for the senator to be upset about and that he was probably more concerned about her sexuality.
“We have all agreed women can wear pants, it felt a very peculiar thing for him to zoom in on. I think it was probably more to do with the fact that it was me reading the book," she said.
“I think the reason that is – and the reason the term grooming was used – is because somebody like Senator Antic might see my identity as sexualised and there’s this idea that who I am is inherently sexual."
On Twitter, many defended Courtney Act and the ABC. Many also said that Senator Antic was completely out of line.
One Twitter user wrote, “Comments by Senator Antic re Play School/Courtney Act are obviously queerphobic and stupid. However, they also show a troubling ignorance about grooming and what actually puts children at risk. I expect better from an elected representative."
Another said: “Courtney Act is a lovely kind person, an internationally respected drag queen, who read an age appropriate story wearing age appropriate clothing on ABC Storytime…”
A third read: “Senator Antic (name appropriate) triggered by Courtney Act reading kids a book about a girl wearing pants! THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH FEMALES WEARING PANTS & certainly nothing wrong with Drag Queens."
“My toddlers watched Courtney Act tell a story on ABC Kids channel & said she was really pretty, they fell in love with her! And they really enjoyed the story of course. Hope we can see more of her on ABC Kids…”
“I’m so disgusted by this. Courtney Act is one of the most incredible, caring humans. She should be treated as the national treasure she is, not accused of grooming just for reading a book,” one person shared online.
“I grew up with Aunty Jack and Dame Edna Everage. No one ever accused them of ‘grooming’. I’d never heard of Courtney Act before but now I must see her perform! She must be an excellent performer or she wouldn’t be on Play School,” said another.