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The Perth primary school fundraiser that went horribly, offensively wrong.

The MC has spoken out about the racist, homophobic remarks — saying he thought they were “quite tame”.

By GRACE JENNINGS-EDQUIST

The trivia night held by North Cottesloe Primary School on Friday was supposed to be a light-hearted, feel-good fundraiser.

But some parents were left hurt and dismayed when the MC, Perth barrister Simon Watters, allegedly launched a homophobic, racist and sexist tirade — prompting booing from some portions of the crowd.

“I’m not going to say ‘faggots,’ because that’s a minority,” Mr Watters reportedly said at one point — before repeatedly using the term, according to local website The Starfish.

“What else could this guy be but a faggot?,” he reportedly asked, pointing to a photo of a 1980s singer during the quiz. “Look at it.”

The barrister, who hosted a similar fundraising event at the school in 2012, is also alleged to have called one woman in the room a “wog”, and reportedly told the audience they’d know their pizza orders had arrived when they saw “Arab and Pakistani people wandering around.”

According to The Starfish, he also suggested only young, attractive women with “C and D-cups” should submit their table’s quiz answers and asked whether any of the 260 audience members was a ”Thalidomide child’.

MC claims the comments were “quite tame”

Simon Watters.

Mr Watters has now spoken publicly about the controversial remarks — saying he thought they were “quite tame”.

“It is upsetting that a significant and successful fund-raising night for the students of North Cottesloe Primary School has been overshadowed by complaints from one table at the event,” the barrister said in a statement.

“It is upsetting that the humour was not taken by one table as it was intended. No comments were made to offend anyone,” he said. “Given the mature and intelligent audience… I’m bewildered by the focus on my comments, which were quite tame in my opinion.”

Describing himself as a “community-minded” person whose children have a disability, Mr Watters added: “I did my best to try and extract as much money as possible from the audience for a good cause”.

The event raised almost $50,000 for the educational needs of students at the school.

P&C member thinks “he’s got a good sense of humour”

The school’s principal, Wayne Press, said in a statement that Mr Watters would not be invited to MC future school events.

“Unfortunately, the MC, who is not a member of our school community and was invited by the P&C, made a number of remarks during the evening which were deeply offensive and hurtful,” Mr Press said in a statement, according to The Daily Mail.

“I would like to state clearly that these offensive comments in no way reflect the values of our school,” he said. “I will be working with the school board and the P&C [Parents’ and Citizens’ Association] to develop stronger protocols for the hosting, compering and running of future events so these unacceptable actions do not occur.”

primary school quiz MC
North Cottesloe Primary School. (Image: via Google)
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But a member of the P&C at the school told Mamamia Mr Watters had been invited to host the event “because he’s got a good sense of humour” — and said the association would remain supportive of the barrister.

“They’re definitely not our views,” she said of Mr Watters’ controversial remarks.

“But the majority (of attendees) weren’t offended and had no problem with the comedian-type nature of the entertainment,” she said.

“The vast majority of it was just fine and funny.”

She added that Mr Watters had hosted the event two years ago and had “done it in a similar manner,” but that he’d been told not to make inappropriate remarks during this year’s event.

“We actually sent him an email (before this years’ event) saying, please do not make any racist comments,” she said.

Asked whether Ms Watters had made racist remarks at the 2012 event, the committee member said she couldn’t recall.

“Of course he will not be appearing at future (school) events but he’s part of the community. We actually will be looking at ways to support him through this difficult time, where his face and name are plastered everywhere,” she said.

She added that the matter had been discussed at a committee meeting on Tuesday night and that it had been agreed that “some of the comments for the entertainer for the evening were inappropriate….We’re happy that we’ve heard all the views and we’re taking them onboard and we just want to move forward together,” she said.

(Note: This is a stock image.)

School community “polarised” by the event

Another mother and quiz night attendee told Mamamia some parents had complained after Mr Watters’ MC appearance at the event in 2012 — but that he had been invited to fulfil the role again.

“It was voted that he was the popular choice (for MC) and the people who took offence last time didn’t come,” she said. She said a table of about eight parents “who did not like the choice of the MC from two years ago” had drummed up media interest in the story.

But she did say the school community had been “polarised” by the way the offended parents handled their complaints about Mr Watters’ remarks.

“All these volunteers that donated their time was just left devastated by the way it was handled,” she said. “If they had a problem with it they should have come to the school.”

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