Former Cultural Attaché, and former chairman of the Cheese Board, Sir Les Patterson is a far more lecherous and offensive character than disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein, according to his creator Barry Humphries.
In the guise of his alter-ego of Sir Les, Humphries described Weinstein as “just a beginner” when it comes to inappropriate behaviour, in an interview with the Nine Network’s 60 Minutes program due to go to air tonight.
Asked whether Sir Les was still relevant today, Humphries said that unfortunately the uncouth, obese, racist, sexist, homophobic slob still is.
“Humourless people say, oh there might have been people like that in the old days, but no longer,” he told the program.
“We’re a sophisticated country – but we know Les is still around.”
Over a career that has lasted more than four decades, Sir Les Patterson has held numerous positions apart from being a Cultural Attaché and chairman of the Cheese Board.
He has also been Minister for Inland Drainage and Rodent Control, Chairman of the Thursday Island Film Commission, Minister for Sport with special responsibility to keep sports rampantly heterosexual and “blokey”, Transvestism for the Yartz (arts), and Founder of the Les Patterson School of Etiquette.
In tonight’s interview, Humphries talks about meeting a woman who described herself as gender fluid, commenting that Les Patterson talks about it a lot.
“In fact, he spends a lot of time at the dry cleaner, Les, and the dry cleaner always wants to know what that stain is… and Les generally says that’s gender fluid.”
Miles Heffernan, Director of Litigation at Discrimination Claims said Sir Les Patterson has been a wonderful ambassador for our country for many years.
“Sir Les is an Aussie icon – the work he has done promoting our country to the world over the years has been invaluable,” he said.
“Although I am surprised he was never swamped with claims of sexual harassment, sex discrimination, sexuality discrimination, race discrimination and gender discrimination from his staff, or those he likes to talk about.
“And yes, he is probably much worse than Harvey Weinstein, but ironically that Hollywood scandal has made Sir Les even more relevant to audiences today than ever before.”
Liz Hayes’ interview with Barry Humphries airs on 60 Minutes tonight.
If you believe you have been subjected to sexual harassment, or discrimination based on race, sex, sexuality or gender, you may be entitled to compensation. Please call Discrimination Claims today on 1300 853 837 for expert and confidential advice about your options.