Senate Estimates Committee Breaks Down Over Anime Waifus

Senate Estimates Committee Breaks Down Over Anime Waifus
Image: Viz Media

A Senate Estimates committee broke down this week over the appropriateness of anime figurines in the workplace. The committee gathered to discuss the private figure collection of Fair Work Commission deputy president Gerard Boyce, which was removed from his office following complaints they were inappropriate.

“Approximately 20” anime figures were displayed in Boyce’s office, described by Fair Work Commission general manager Bernadette O’Neill as “scantily clad” anime or cartoon-style figures.

The general manager had difficulty recalling the extent of the incident and agreed that the figures were not nude, but still felt they were inappropriate for an office environment.

While she did not agree that she thought they were erotic, Labor senator Deborah O’Neill, who led the committee, indicated that other members of the Fair Work Commission had identified them as erotic in nature.

According to the committee, these figures were created by Boyce himself and were amateurish in nature.

When questioned by the Senate Estimates committee over whether “some of [the figures] were so unpleasant that there was a partial removal of some of them”, Bernadette O’Neill agreed that was the case. The offending figures were removed from Boyce’s office following multiple concerns, but there were no formal complaints lodged.

The same committee also heard that Boyce had installed a surveillance camera in his office without permission, which raised further concerns.

The Senate Estimates committee became heated as the topic of the appropriation of the female body came up, with Labor senator Deborah O’Neill saying that Boyce’s passion, “really makes you wonder about the quality of [his] appointment.”

Liberal senator James McGrath spoke out against this accusation and was cautioned by O’Neill to be careful about defending Boyce’s interests. It was here that the committee broke down. It was adjourned with a private meeting between McGrath and Deborah O’Neill.

You can view the discussion here, including the moment where the hearing is adjourned at 02:01:25 in the video.

According to the ABC, the Government’s workplace insurer will now launch an investigation into these reports.


    • According to the committee, these figures were created by Boyce himself and were amateurish in nature.

      I agree. The mind boggles.

  • Okaaayy.

    Yeah, fine, I agree that such figurines are not professional and shouldn’t be at your station. But stretching out someone’s interest in waifus to being not of proper moral character, yeah, f-off. It’s not my thing but of little difference to the fireman calendar the offended woman likely has at home. If he has been fair and respectable in his dealings with co workers, no issues.

    • I don’t think it’s about his interest in waifus per se, just that he thought it was appropriate to display them at work. It’s arguably disrepectful to his co-workers, and they certainly seemed to think so given they made informal complaints. Also the instalation of a surveillance camera to monitor his staff – referred to as “an appalling abuse of [his] responsibilities” – certainly does call his judgement into question.

    • lol let’s not pretend that there isn’t a wealth of perverted depictions of infantilized characters within anime and its related material.

      • Yep, humanity had a good go at it but we fucked it up in the end. Time for another species to have a crack. Probably octopi. Those intelligent creepos are certainly planning something. But only Betty White and Keith Richards will bear witness to it.

      • If you didn’t already stock up on toilet paper, the apocalypse may already be starting for you, depending on your current stores!

  • The same committee also heard that Boyce had installed a surveillance camera in his office without permission, which raised further concerns.
    I wonder what this has to do with?

  • Aaaaand there’s a reason why I maintain a no waifu (not that I really do waifu…) and no gun policy for my desk figurines.

    Atm I’ve got Gunter (with leather jacket), Popvinyl BT+Pilot, Cayde giving a thumbs up, you can call me a child, but its in no way threatening or degrading (even if both of those terms really do have to be stretched for desk figurines).

    • I have a classic Astro boy and once I stop being too lazy to build it, I’ll have a smallish gundam. Nothing wrong with having fun stuff at your desk.

      20+ amateur lewd waifus on the other hand…

      • Modern government you’re not allowed to have anything at all on your desk. Well, its not even your own desk. Its the place you managed to grab when you came in that morning, and you likely won’t even have it after you get back from a meeting or lunch.

        The hell that is hot desking, which the rest of the world abandoned years ago but is the current ‘craze’ in NSW.

        • I hot-desked for years. It was garbage. Everyone got sick all the time and there were fights over people always taking the good spots… ridiculous.

          This guy was director so I guess he got a proper office.

        • I’m lucky. Work for state government and I have my own desk in my own private cubicle. No one can see my screens without coming and walking around behind me as they are recessed. I have some framed photos as well Ash from Evil Dead (Funko) on my desk. No one cares.

          • You’re lucky. Our agency is relocating mid year into a purpose built nothing-but-hot-desks except for a handful of senior executives and their EAs building. I used to have a Funtime Foxy pop that my nephews gave me that I brought to work, but given a choice between pulling it in and out of a locker to whichever desk I end up with, I’ve just left it home.

          • Open plan is proven to be worse for productivity than cubicles. But it is better for rent, which is a number that can be measured more easily. Working from home is even better for rent, but that means having to learn how to manage staff in a way that doesn’t involve looking over at them now and then to get a sense of whether they look like they’re working, so that’s out.

            Good luck.

      • I have a bookcase full of D&D models beside my work place.
        Considering my work is D&D for kids, I guess it makes a little sense though.

  • Is this turning into a witch (waifu?) hunt now? How long have the figures been there? Did someone only say something because of current events?

    • I’m guessing there were multiple complaints about semi nude figurines on the boss’ desk followed by him installing a creepy camera. It’s obviously a long term pattern of behaviour. There’s no way this all happened since the anime uproar like two days ago.

      • Except that the person questioned said they weren’t erotic so I doubt they were semi nude. Going by the moral panic going around, it was probably a figure of Shinji from Evangelion that someone mistook for a young girl.

        • I think you’re missing the context.

          The woman questioned did not find them to be erotic, but several other people said they were erotic in nature. That doesn’t mean nude. It means sexually suggestive. There are plenty of anime figurines that aren’t nude but are very sexual.

          Don’t start throwing terms like “moral panic” around. One senator got his balls twisted about anime and he was soundly shut down by someone who isn’t a moron. There was also a guy who had inappropriate for work stuff in his office who is being disciplined for it.

          There’s no moral panic. There are two unrelated incidents and they’re both being dealt with in reasonable ways.

          • The ‘moral panic’ comment was coming from a combination of a number of articles lately combined. Some of the submissions into the classification review were pretty shocking with how puritanical and regressive they were.

            Given that they’re stated to be figures he created himself, I really want to see them to see if they’re bad enough to warrant the response they got. Call it a morbid curiosity.

            Working for Government I wouldn’t be daft enough to bring something that I could see isn’t considered appropriate for work.

        • Also, the second paragraphs says approximately 20 scantily clad female figurines.

          That’s not work appropriate at any job that isn’t the waifu figurine factory. There doesn’t need to be a moral panic to decide that an office full of waifu figs isn’t expected behaviour from a high level government official.

  • Between this and relentlessly photographing any union stickers, they’re sure earning their pay.

  • The Senate Estimates committee became heated as the topic of the appropriation of the female body came up…

    So artists can now no longer create images / figurines of the female form without being accused of appropriation? We have truly reached the end times, people…

    • Technically art/figurines of the female form is already appropriation, the positive or negative connotations are subjective.
      In this case the question of appropriating the female form in a government department in such a way is fairly cut and dry.

    • Nope. Just that they’re not appropriate for a Government workplace. I mean, Dead or Alive still exists, even if they are charging a couple of dollars every time you want to change the colour of a character’s hair.

  • Gerard Boyce always did give off some pretty creepy vibes.

    Though I suspect that Peter Dutton’s desk waifu figurine is Chōjin from Urotsukidōji.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!