The dance troop which twerked in front of a brand new warship to celebrate its unveiling has slammed the ABC for ‘deceptive’ editing.
The dancers from 101Doll Squadron say they feel ‘threatened, exploited and unsafe’ amid widespread criticism of their racy routine to unveil the HMAS Supply in Sydney on Saturday.
The group members performed prior to the arrival of dignitaries including Governor-General David Hurley and Defence Force chief Angus Campbell – but the ABC edited the footage to make it appear they were watching.
‘We found this very creepy and reflects more on the ABC’s camera operator and their need to sexualise these women and their dance piece for their own gratification,’ the group said in a statement.
The troop – which is made up of indigenous and multi-racial members – said they did not intend to be disrespectful and insist the footage was taken out of context.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted the ABC for comment.
Governor-General David Hurley (pictured wearing glasses) sat front and centre of the ceremony
Earlier former soldier turned politician Jacqui Lambie trashed the celebration as an ‘absolute shocker’.
‘I thought I was watching the Super Bowl there for a split second, I’ll be honest with you,’ she told Nine’s Today show.
‘Whoever made that call, it’s an absolute shocker for goodness’ sake.’
Senator Lambie added: ‘Good on those young ladies for getting out there, but I tell you, being half clothed outside a warship is probably inappropriate.
‘If that is the leadership in our defence forces, God help our sons and daughters who are serving.’
Another former soldier turned politician, LNP Member for Herbert Philip Thompson, said the Navy had turned too woke.
‘Standards in the ADF, and definitely when commissioning a ship, should be a little bit higher than that,’ he told the ABC earlier this week.
‘Our ADF shouldn’t be left or right; they should be straight down the middle of what their job is, and their job is to defend our nation, our interests, our values, our sovereignty, but also when we go on operations, have an unapologetic aggression and violence to get the mission done.’
He added: ‘We’ve gone a little bit woke over the past few years and we can’t afford to be doing that.’
Videos from the event show seven women doing a choregraphed routine while dressed in black booty shorts and red crop tops and berets.
New Navy ship HMAS Supply has been launched by a group of scantily clad women twerking (pictured) in Sydney’s Woolloomooloo
The HMAS Supply ship’s company stand on the upper decks at the completion of her commissioning ceremony (pictured on Saturday)
The launch was attended by officials including the Governor-General and the head of the Navy
Some commenters on social media agreed the dance move was too suggestive for an official government event.
‘Doesn’t matter who the girls are, this is not appropriate,’ one person said.
‘At a time when we are promoting the rights of women to not be objectified, there are other dance moves that would be fun and equally energetic.’
Other commenters found the incident ‘bizarre.’
‘I would flat out not believe you if the HMAS Supply banner wasn’t visible in the background. This is… too strange,’ said one.
‘It’s an interpretive dance, telling the story of how the Navy has no budget to put on proper entertainment for this ship launch after spending all their money on submarines,’ another joked.
Others believed politicians should not worry about it and instead focus on the vaccine rollout and getting the nation open again following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Defence said the dance was arranged as an effort to ‘engage with the local community’
The Governor-General David Hurley (pictured) is seen arriving on Saturday at the ceremony for the new $2billion boat
A defence spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia the dance was arranged to engage with the local community and preceded the formal part of the ceremony.
‘HMAS Supply and the Royal Australian Navy are committed to working with Australians from all backgrounds in actively supporting local charities and community groups,’ they said.
‘The dance was performed prior to the commencement of the Commissioning formalities and prior to the arrival of His Excellency the Governor General, Chief of Navy and Commander Australian Fleet.’
The HMAS Supply’s key role is to provide support to naval combat units. The vessel will now undergo testing.
What will the HMAS Supply will be used for?
HMAS Supply is the lead ship of two Supply Class Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment ships currently being built for the Royal Australian Navy by Spanish shipbuilder, Navantia.
The Australian Supply Class ships are based on the Spanish Navy’s Cantabria Class design.
The ships are intended to carry fuel, dry cargo, water, food, ammunition, equipment and spare parts to provide operational support for the deployed naval or combat forces operating far from the port on the high seas for longer periods.
In addition to replenishment, the vessels can be used to combat against environmental pollution at sea, provide logistics support for the armed forces, and to support humanitarian and disaster relief operations following a natural disaster.
Source: Australian Navy