'Sexist' Colleen McCullough obit goes viral
In this March 1, 1977 file photo, Australian author Colleen McCullough laughs during a news conference in New York. (AP Photo/File)
Published Friday, January 30, 2015 9:46AM EST
Fans are hitting back against an obituary that mocked bestselling Australian author Colleen McCullough’s looks and weight by evoking their own perceived shortcomings in 140 characters or less.
McCullough died Thursday at age 77 following a prolonged illness. McCullough was the author of 25 novels, including The Thorn Birds, which sold 30 million copies worldwide.
She was also a neurophysiologist who spent a decade as a researcher at Yale University.
The writer of an obituary that appeared in Friday’s The Australian, however, thought it best to start by mentioning that although McCullough was “plain of feature, and certainly overweight, she was, nevertheless a woman of wit and warmth.”
That’s followed up with a quote from McCullough noting that although she’s not interested in “clothes or figure,” she has no trouble attracting men.
The first wave of social media scorn began with tweets of the obituary itself. The second wave began when Twitter users started writing their own obituaries, which had the #MyOzObituary hashtag trending worldwide on Friday.
Deaf of tone, and certainly sexist, the @australian obit writer was, nevertheless able to use a computer.— Ron Charles (@RonCharles) January 30, 2015
Though thunderous of thigh she nevertheless could eat a packet of biscuits at an eye-watering speed #myozobituary— Janet Emson (@JanetEmson) January 30, 2015
Although chubby off and on, with too many chins, she was a top-notch aunt, daughter, friend and really quite good at her work #myozobituary— Luned Whelan (@lunedgomer) January 30, 2015
Despite her lifelong battle with acne, she was surprisingly good at understanding metadata. #myozobituary— Ruth Kitchin Tillman (@ruthbrarian) January 30, 2015
Undeniably bottom-heavy & generally unable to hold her liquor, she still managed to write a book some people like. #myozobituary— Greer Macallister (@theladygreer) January 30, 2015
"Saddled with hideous looks and terrible choice in glasses, Stephen King nevertheless towered over American fiction." #myozobituary— Matt Mendelsohn (@mattmendelsohn) January 30, 2015
#myozobituary - Through the slight gap in his incisors he managed to squeeze cleverness into most situations.— Lad Named Felix (@Lad_Named_Felix) January 30, 2015
Large of bottom and bad of eyesight, she nevertheless managed to answer emails without expiring #myozobituary— Donna Smith (@Dr_DonnaSmith) January 30, 2015
Despite being a God botherer with a face like a rugby forward's arse he nonetheless was handy to have in a pub quiz. #myozobituary— Bob Rashley (@Skaro7) January 30, 2015
According to a report at Crikey, it appears that the author who pre-wrote the obituary years ago, which is the custom for prominent public figures, died some time ago.
Despite being a small-minded, insular twerp, he found employment as a small-minded insular obituary writing twerp #myozobituary— Ruth Callaghan (@RuthViragoMedia) January 30, 2015