Megan Gale has hit back at claims all celebrities receive "special treatment" in lockdown, sharing that she was "trolled and abused" last year when people thought she was able to skip quarantine when she travelled from Victoria to WA for her brother's funeral.
It comes after Megan read a Herald Sun article written by Steve Price titled 'AFL and celebrities getting special privileges in Covid lockdown' where The Project host called out stars such as Dannii Minogue and Russell Crowe for being granted "privileges and freedoms" that regular Aussies aren't afforded.
Megan said she respected the article and wholeheartedly agreed, but didn't want readers to be confused and assume every person with a profile receives special treatment.
"This is a great article by @steveprice7571 and I wholeheartedly agree with his stance," she wrote. "People with public profiles shouldn’t get special treatment in regards to lockdowns, quarantine or travel during this pandemic. But please keep in mind there are those who have never asked for special treatment nor been offered it.
"I would say special treatment is the exception not the rule. Articles like this, while raising valid points, do however run the risk of leading the public to believe that ALL celebrities have special entitlements and it reinforces that perception. This results in people like myself copping hatred and abuse online because the public assume ALL celebrities are being treated differently which is completely unfair and I speak from personal experience," she said.
The model added she found it incredibly difficult to enter WA last year, even when putting in requests on compassionate grounds.
"When I eventually did manage to get clearance to travel, it was still made very difficult for me to board my flight to WA without showing proper documentation and proof of my circumstances. I followed the stipulated procedures like everybody else and completed my 14 day quarantine at the same dark, dingy, dirty hotel with no sunlight or fresh air like everybody else," she said.
"I was however still trolled and abused online because it was simply assumed, due to my profile, that I had skipped quarantine and gotten special treatment. This was based purely on perception not fact. And it is articles like this one that reinforce that perception and I feel a responsibility to correct that."
Megan added that it's "beyond wrong" that different rules apply to different people such as sportsmen and celebrities, but added that people shouldn't assume all famous people can play by their own rules.
"Please don’t go online and abuse someone because you assume they have received special treatment simply because 'you read it somewhere'. Also think about what that person could be going through before you choose anger and hatred over kindness, compassion and understanding.
"All due respect to you @steveprice7571. It was a very good piece. I just wanted to balance out the view and give a more realistic take on it."
In the article, Steve wrote, "This them-and-us world of Covid privilege is starting to grate on people living through grim days of lockdowns and business collapses and holiday cancellations.
"Melburnians can’t hold birthday parties for 10-year-olds and their friends, or even take a road trip to Lorne, but football players can fly around the country while their families bunker down in five-star hotels, all expenses paid."
He also told the story of a grandmother who lives in Sydney and is fully vaccinated, but was unable to travel to Melbourne to take care of her grandchildren while her daughter was battling breast cancer.
"Katrina applied through the right channels and even took numerous Covid tests just in case she was let in," he wrote. "Not only was her permit denied, she has never even been directly spoken to, to explain why.
"Presumably, if her family had a connection with the AFL, she would be let in. But caring for a dying daughter isn’t a good enough reason."
He added, "The idea that we are all in this together is rubbish. It seems there is privilege and then there is pain."
Celebrity Apprentice's Janine Allis commented on Megan's post, sharing her own story, "Beautifully said Megan. I also had to do 14 days in hotel quarantine last year and there was no special treatment, I was on the same bus and same hotel as everyone else.
"We also have to understand that it is not about special treatment but about keeping industries alive as there is a blood bath of industries struggling including the arts and sport, with also keeping people safe."
She continued, "We have to also do better with our people and let people safely get to their own home. My mother and father are not permitted to return home from NSW to Victoria where they live despite that fact that they are 86 and 90 and have urgent, speciality care required at home. They had to wait 10 days waiting for an exemption to be told they cannot return and were given no reason. We have to be kind to each other and also compassionate."
Many others agreed with Rove McManus adding, "Well said and perfectly put."
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