An Aussie ambassador who was cruelly insulted on social media by Donald Trump Jr has hit back at “offensive” comments made by online trolls.
The furore began earlier this week when a one-minute video of Australia’s new ambassador for gender equality, Stephanie Copus Campbell, was shared on Twitter.
In the clip, Dr Copus Campbell, who was appointed to the role in December, vowed to support those with diverse gender identities, and emphasised that gender equality was crucial to a nation’s success in many different areas.
But the video was almost immediately flooded with vicious and misogynistic comments attacking her position and appearance, including by former US president Donald Trump’s eldest son.
Sharing the clip with his own followers, Donald Trump Jr posted: “It’s always the eyes that give it away before they say a word. Australia’s new Ambassador for Gender Equality”.
So far, there have been thousands of comments and retweets of the video, which went viral in the US and even appeared on American television broadcasts.
However, many have also defended Dr Copus Campbell, with Trump Jr’s tweet attracting plenty of backlash.
Some responded to his nasty tweet by sharing less-than-flattering pictures of the 45-year-old, while others sharing jokes at his expense.
“Let’s start a GoFundMe to buy Donkey a mirror,” American sports and political commentator Keith Olbermann posted, while journalist Robert Licuria urged Trump Jr to “stay in your lane”.
“Picking on someone’s appearance is really becoming of a d**chenozzle,” he added, with another Twitter user writing: “Come to Australia and say that”.
Speaking to The Australian in the wake of the trolling, Dr Copus Campbell hit back at her critics.
“The fact that many of the 6000-plus comments about my first tweet either related to my appearance or made offensive remarks on gender diversity demonstrates why my role as ambassador is so important,” she told the publication.
She insisted she would “proudly promote Australia’s strong commitment to gender equality” despite the abuse, and doubled down on her message that when women and girls are held back, an entire nation suffers economically, socially and in terms of its development.
“When barriers are removed and women prosper, children, families and communities are healthier and better educated, GDP increases, conflict decreases and everyone is better off,” she told the publication.
She also told ABC radio the thousands of comments targeting her appearance were “really disappointing”, but shared a seriously classy response to Trump Jr’s vile comment.
“At the same time, I have to say, it’s given me this absolute platform to take forward this important message,” Dr Copus Campbell told the national broadcaster.
“So who would have thought a retweet from Donald Trump Jr would be doing my work for me in saying why doing this work is so, so very important.”
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