Comedy singer and songwriter Tim Minchin has written a song calling Cardinal George Pell “scum” for not returning to Australia to face the Royal Commission on Child Sexual Abuse.
The cardinal has been given permission to give evidence via video link to the commission into child abuse this month from Rome after a doctor’s report said he was too sick to return to Australia.
Minchin has used his music to express his anger at the decision in a song called ‘Come Home Pell’ which he debuted on The Project on Tuesday night.
The singer’s song begins in a light-hearted manner joking about how the cardinal, who he calls “Georgie”, wanting a “doona day”.
The lyrics take a harder line as Minchin implores the Cardinal to come down from his citadel and then he slams Pell singing: “With all due respect, I think you’re scum and you should come home”.
Broadcaster Steve Price, who was a panellist on the Network Ten show on Tuesday night, said that he thought the song was abusive of Pell.
“Obviously Tim Minchin feels really strongly about that, but I just think it’s really disgusting how he’s resorted to personal abuse there of George Pell,” Price said.
However, his fellow panellists Peter Helliar, Waleed Aly and Carrie Bickmore were more supportive of Minchin.
“He obviously wanted to make a point and it’s a point about a very serious issue and he’s obviously made the point very clearly,” Helliar replied.
Aly explained the song was about whether or not the survivors deserve to be in the courtroom with Pell when he testifies.
Many people on social media crticised Steve Price for his reaction with some calling him “out of touch”.
“Gotta say, #TheProjectTV, @StevePriceMedia is more out of touch than ever tonight.
@TimMinchin speaks for many Australians. #ComeHomePell” Melbourne-based I H Laking tweeted.
One follower however felt Minchin’s song made light of this serious issue.
“@theprojecttv sorry I think this makes a joke of the whole situation. Am I alone in thinking this? #TheProjectTV” Twitter user Lina (@MissyLina79) tweeted.
The charity song comes after former Australian Idol judge Mark Holden released a similar item in late 2015.
Watch both of the songs below: