Former Universe Australia Maria Thattil lashed out at controversial Liberal candidate Katherine Deves during a heated segment on Today Extra on Monday.
Speaking to hosts David Campbell and Brooke Boney, the 29-year-old had little sympathy for the mother of three, who has suffered vile death threats and abuse after a number of her past transphobic tweets resurfaced online.
While Thattil said she didn’t condone ‘death threats or violence’ towards Deves, she disagreed that the politician was in any danger for expressing her views.
Having her say: Former Universe Australia Maria Thattil (pictured) lashed out at controversial Liberal candidate Katherine Deves during a heated segment on Today Extra on Monday
‘Contrary to her claims, we don’t live in a time where it is dangerous to speak your mind,’ Maria wrote on Instagram while sharing a clip of her Today Extra appearance.
‘But we have always lived in a dangerous time for transgender folk, because people in positions of power have the privilege of speaking their mind and in situations like this, it can serve to fuel an undercurrent of transphobia, stigma and discrimination,’ she continued.
Thattil, a model and reality star known for her progressive views, also insisted Deves had made it ‘dangerous for trans people to exist’.
Backlash: Ms Deves (pictured), the Liberal candidate for Warringah, has received vile death threats and abuse after a number of her past transphobic tweets resurfaced online
‘It is a privilege for her to be able to make statements like, “We live in a dangerous time where you can’t speak your mind,”‘ the pageant queen said.
‘When you have people in power who speak their mind and it’s bigoted and it’s violent towards actual oppressed marginalised communities, she’s making it dangerous for them to exist.’
Thattil also said ‘the future of our country and planet is hanging in the balance begging for climate action’, and called for political leaders who are less ‘inflammatory’ and obsessed with cancel culture.
Safe and sound? While Thattil said she did not condone ‘death threats or violence’ towards Deves, she disagreed that the politician was in any danger for expressing her views
It comes after Deves has revealed her family have been forced to move out of Sydney after receiving death threats over her anti-transgender social media posts.
The lawyer, 44, who was handpicked by Scott Morrison to run in the marginal seat of Warringah against Independent MP Zali Steggall, caused a stir after publishing, then deleting, a series of inflammatory tweets.
The comments described transgender people as ‘surgically mutilated and sterilised’, claimed half of men with trans identities were ‘sex offenders’, and compared her pursuit to barring the community from women’s sports to stopping the Holocaust.
So true! Today Extra hosts David Campbell (left) and Brooke Boney (right) seemed to agree with every word Maria said
Breaking her silence on SBS on Sunday after the scandal sparked calls for her to be disendorsed, Ms Deves admitted her ‘arguments was not conducive to proper, reasonable debate’.
She said the interview with the program had to take place in a secret location as her safety has been jeopardised.
‘I have received death threats, I have had to have the police and AFP involved, my safety has been threatened, my family are way out of Sydney because I don’t want them to witness what I am going through and nor do I want their safety put at risk,’ she said.
Regrets: Breaking her silence on SBS on Sunday after the scandal sparked calls for her to be disendorsed, Ms Deves admitted her ‘arguments was not conducive to proper, reasonable debate’
One particularly vile message sent to Ms Deves, and obtained by Daily Mail Australia, read: ‘If you ever comment transphobic s**t on my feed again I’ll burn you and stick my girl c**k down your neck.’
Ms Deves said ‘as a mother and woman’ she now realises her arguments were expressed inappropriately and reissued an apology for her ‘hurtful and divisive’ language.
‘It was not the appropriate platform to do so, I have removed myself from that platform and I will not be going back there again,’ she said.
Asked what her message was to young and vulnerable trans kids who may have heard her comments, Ms Deves said her position was about ‘women’s rights’.
‘This is about women ‘s rights. With this issue, we have a collision of rights, and thus far, the voices of women and girls have not been heard,’ she said.
‘And when we have a collision of rights, in liberal democracies, we debate them in a reasonable, measured fashion, and this is what should have taken place is.’
Fleeing: Ms Deves (pictured with her family) said her family have been forced to leave Sydney amid fears for their safety