Robert Irwin Sparks Controversy After Threatening To Sue Cartoon “Mocking” Him

Robert Irwin has threatened legal action against Pauline Hanson, the leader of the Australian right-wing political party One Nation, over a cartoon depicting him in the politician’s Please Explain series.

The 20-year-old son of the late wildlife expert Steve Irwin sent a cease and desist letter through FC Lawyers to StepMates Studios, the production team behind Hanson’s series, on Friday night (June 14), NewsWire reports.

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The two-minute video shows a cartoonish version of Robert giving viewers a tour through Queensland accompanied by the famous cartoon dog Bluey.

Robert Irwin has threatened legal action against One Nation party leader Pauline Hanson over a satirical cartoon depicting him

Image credits: Pauline Hanson’s Please Explain

The satirical episode contrasts the wildlife photographer’s upbeat and optimistic attitude with the harsh issues the Australian state faces regarding housing, youth crime, and healthcare.

In the letter, Lawyer Zoe Naylor demands that the video be taken down and StepMates Studios stop using Robert Irwin’s image without approval.

“You are potentially liable to our client in respect of defamation, deceptive use of a person’s image, passing off, and misleading and deceptive conduct,” the legal document reads.

“We will commence legal action against you if you do not take down the video immediately.”

The cartoon shows a naive Robert giving a tour of Queensland as he observes issues related to criminality and healthcare

Image credits: Pauline Hanson’s Please Explain

The letter states that the cartoon caused “significant harm to [their] client’s brand and image” as it misled the public into believing Robert was connected to One Nation.

“We are concerned that the unlawful use of our client’s image may be an attempt to pass off yourself or the party as currently being affiliated or otherwise authorized by us, which you are not.

“This unlawful use has the potential to mislead or deceive consumers into believing that you have.

“The use of our client’s image and name on the video is capable of leading not an insignificant number of reasonable and/or ordinary people into erroneously believing that Pauline Hanson is associated with Robert.”

The 20-year-old’s legal team claims that the video represents a case of defamation

Image credits: Pauline Hanson’s Please Explain

Image credits: Robert Irwin

The studio company has reportedly been given until 5 PM on Monday (local time) to remove the video before Robert’s lawyers potentially take legal action. As of today (June 17), the cartoon is still available on Pauline Hanson’s Please Explain YouTube channel three days after it was posted.

According to NewsWire, One Nation has disputed the letter and is planning to respond through their lawyers.

“We will commence legal action against you if you do not take down the video immediately,” Robert’s lawyer warned

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Image credits: Robert Irwin

Image credits: Robert Irwin

Watch the satirical video below

Responding to the young man, Hanson stated that the video wasn’t about him but about issues in Queensland. Furthermore, the party leader implied that Robert should take his feature in the cartoon as a compliment, News Australia reports.

“Lighten up, Robert. Your father, Steve, he was a larrikin; he had a laugh, he could take the mickey out of himself, and you’re complaining about this,” said the politician, whose anti-immigration views have been regarded as racist and xenophobic.

“I’ve got members of parliament asking me when they get to be in the cartoon. We have people paying to get in, so I’ve given him a free kick. And he wants to sue me over it.”

“He’s unproblematic. Let him live,” a Facebook user wrote

The post Robert Irwin Sparks Controversy After Threatening To Sue Cartoon “Mocking” Him first appeared on Bored Panda.
Source: boredpanda.com

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