'Lighten up!' Pauline Hanson razzes thin-skinned Robert Irwin after legal threat

Senator refuses to back down after Crocodile Hunter's son threatens lawsuit over satirical cartoon on the state of Queensland.

'Lighten up!' Pauline Hanson razzes thin-skinned Robert Irwin after legal threat
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One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has dismissed a legal threat from Robert Irwin, urging him to "lighten up" after he took offence to a depiction of himself in her Please Explain parody cartoon series.

Reports have verified that a cease and desist letter was issued late Friday night by FC Lawyers, representing Irwin, son of the late wildlife legend Steve Irwin. The letter was sent to StepMates Studios, producers of Hanson’s online series.

Irwin, 20, alleges that the cartoon mockingly portrays him and popular cartoon character Bluey promoting a new tourism campaign for Queensland. Lawyer Zoe Naylor claims the depiction is defamatory and involves the “unauthorised and deceptive use of our client’s image”.

The letter demands the cartoon's removal and an immediate halt to the use of Irwin’s image without permission.

“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 letter warns.

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

Hanson, suggested Irwin’s father would have had a different reaction. “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,” she remarked.

Hanson emphasised that the cartoon was not targeting Irwin personally but addressing broader issues in Queensland.

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

The episode critiques Queensland’s housing crisis, youth crime, and healthcare through a satirical lens. Irwin and Bluey, in the cartoon, mistakenly think a queue for a rental property is a line for Movie World, and Bluey is assaulted by delinquents while Irwin is told there's a six-month hospital wait. It ends with Irwin saying, “I can’t believe this is the state of Queensland”.

The legal letter asserts that the cartoon harms Irwin’s reputation and misleads the public, causing “significant harm to our client’s brand and image”. StepMates Studios has until 5pm Monday to remove the video, or Irwin’s lawyers may escalate the matter in court.

One Nation chief of staff James Ashby told media they dispute the letter's claims and will respond through their legal team, including leading defamation barrister Sue Chrysanthou SC.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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