‘I know his wife’: Boss’s disgusting texts
WARNING: Strong language, themes
Tracey Spicer has lifted the lid on the predatory behaviour of some Australian men, including one boss who did everything he could to avoid his creepy texts being seen by his wife - only for them to end up on national television.
Spicer's much-anticipated documentary, Silent No More, aired on the ABC on Monday night and it did not hold back.
The hour-long first part of the three-part series detailing the experiences of everyday Australians who have been subjected to sexual assault or harassment focused on two women.
The first was Summer, a former real estate agent who is considering suing her boss over a series of text messages and videos he sent her while claiming to be watching "Asian porn".
Summer, 39, said the texts from the corporate director started not long after she began working at the franchise, and quickly escalated.
"Initially, they came off like a really attractive group," she said of the company.
"They seemed to have a lot of energy and passion and it seemed like a really fun place.
"Everything actually seemed, you know, stupidly, when I see it, too good to be true."
She said the sexualised comments culminated in a pornographic video she received via text.
"It's a picture of an Asian woman getting f***** in the a***," Summer's friend tells Spicer in the documentary.
"And he, a white Australian caucasian man, sent that to the Asian female director of a business. I know that guy. I know his wife."
Summer told the program her former boss "likes to nickname women by their body parts".
"Two of the women at his office, one of them, her nickname was 'Legs', and the other girl he called 'Lips'.
"It just kind of chips away and chips away. At what point do we get to where it's like, 'Can I just go to work without you making a joke about my chest?'"
Before he sent her the pornographic video, Summer had just dropped him off after a few drinks with colleagues. He told her he had poured himself a "fireball" whisky and was "teeing up Asian Redtube".
She told him, "We're both on our own" and "go to bed", but he had other ideas, she says.
"Thank heavens," he allegedly wrote. "With your attraction to small, hairless men who love pleasing in conjunction with my affliction with big-boobed Asians would only end in a f***ing funny rooting event where you would dominate, and that would shit me."
She called him soon after and told him, "This isn't funny anymore". Then he sent her the video.
Spicer said the whole story left her feeling "b****y angry".
"It makes me furious when I hear that kind of narrative," she said. "And that seems to be exactly how it played out for Summer."
Summer said she has been forced to take medical leave. Her lawyer says her case is strong enough to sue if she chooses to.
"The fact that we're debating whether a boss should send a pornographic image to a staff member is also a bit bizarre, I must say," her lawyer told the program.
The second woman Spicer interviewed for the documentary was Gretta. Gretta worked in a male-dominated industry - mining - and said a colleague went way too far at a Christmas party.
"It was more a blokey-blokey kind of environment. I was being prevented from climbing a career ladder and I was told I was 'nothing but an incompetent bitch'," she told Spicer.
"I'd get called a 'stupid woman' in meetings. I'd get my work ripped up in front of everybody. And there was nothing I could do about it."
She said she was sexually harassed at the work function in front of her then-boyfriend Michael.
"I was there with my partner, Michael, and one of the senior managers was also there. Then he starts asking things like, 'How big's Michael's c**k?'," Gretta said.
"'Do you … What sort of positions do you use?' and, 'Tell me about the toys that you use.'
"And I'm saying … I'm saying, 'Just stop it, let's just talk about work.'"
Soon after, Gretta spoke to a manager. But that's when things got worse.
"I said, 'Look, I've had a really hard time. I'm dealing with really bad bullying and sexual harassment.' And he leaned forward like this and he goes, 'What do you expect working in a male-dominated company?'
Spicer said she was "devastated" after talking to Gretta.
"It is bullsh*t that people are expected to put up with this kind of stuff," she said.
"You know, is this the price that people have to pay, particularly women, for entry into the workforce? That's too high a price."
Spicer became the face of the MeToo movement in Australia after calling for victims of sexual harassment or assault to contact her on Twitter on October 17, 2017.
"Currently I'm investigating two long-term offenders in our media industry. Please, contact me privately to tell your stories," she tweeted.
But she was soon overwhelmed with thousands of responses from victims and despite positioning herself as the Australian face of the movement, Spicer never even responded to many of the victims.
The documentary also sparked controversy after it breached the privacy of some of the women who approached her. Their details were shown in the embargoed preview screening that was sent to media at the beginning of the month.
Spicer has issued a public apology. She told the National Press Club last week she was sorry for the breach of privacy but that she expected more from the documentary's producers and the ABC.
Ahead of the screening, Spicer took to her Facebook page for a "few words" on that "devastating error".
"My heart goes out to the two women who were identified, due to a devastating error, in an early preview copy of this documentary," Spicer wrote.
"I've been assured by both the production company and the ABC that every survivor identified in the final version has given their full consent."
Australia's 24-hour sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling line is 1800 RESPECT. Free call 1800 737 732.