Watching A Current Affair tonight has made me extremely ranty. Matthew Newton featured in a profile interview about his "mental" illness and how it has contributed to where he is now. How it was untreated for a long period of time and how he was not in control of himself.
I'm not sure what I expected to see or hear. Actually I am. I expected to see a humble man, sorry for his past actions and willing to do whatever it takes to rehabilitate. I expected to see a man who was embarrassed by his past actions and one who could not apologise enough for hitting the women he supposedly loved. It wasn't just one girlfriend, but two. No, I didn't see what I was expecting. I saw a self-absorbed person who had one agenda - to show the public that he wasn't "responsible" for his actions - he had an untreated mental illness. He had so many "issues". Noises in his head. He didn't know what was happening to him. There were no sorrys, only excuses.
I personally do not know Matthew Newton and I am totally aware my judgement of him is based on my personal perceptions and this may be different to what other people see. In fact it may be totally different to Matthew's reality. I'm sure he sees something totally different to the image I saw on my television tonight.
Matthew Newton undoubtedly has mental issues. He is also a perpetrator of domestic violence. Not once, but on multiple occasions. He might be the son of two famous Australians and he might have his own "famous" profile, but in the scheme of life this counts for nothing. He is a perpetrator of domestic violence. He hits women. Violently.
I am not singling him out, many other men hit women. The point of difference is these men are not given a chance to appear on national television to try and make themselves look and feel better, and so they shouldn't. Neither should Matthew Newton.
If A Current Affair really wants to talk about mental illness and inspire others who live with it every day, there are thousands of people they could have interviewed. Thousands of people, who haven't committed acts of violence, yet live with mental illness every single day. They have to deal with the voices in their heads, their inability to function normally and social isolation, without resorting to violence.
This Friday is White Ribbon Day - an international campaign to stop violence against women. This is a huge campaign with the key message being it is NOT okay to hit women. Profiling Matthew Newton on A Current Affair tonight is a total juxtaposition to this message. Quite frankly it is insulting to every person who suffers from a mental illness and equally as insulting to women. It is NEVER okay to hit a woman, regardless of whether you have a mental illness or not. It really is that simple.