The Department of Defence has responded to a viral video created by the ABC in which scantily-clad female dancers were depicted “twerking” in front of the Navy’s top brass and other VIPs at an official event.
The troupe 101 Doll Squadron was performing at the Garden Island naval base at Woolloomooloo in Sydney on Sunday at the commissioning of the Navy’s new $2 billion warship the HMAS Supply.
Watch the dance and make up your own mind in the video above
The event was attended by senior Navy officials, the Governor-General and Federal MPs.
In bizarre scenes, a group of seven female dancers wearing revealing black and red clothing danced for several minutes, wiggling their bottoms at onlookers during the performance.
An ABC TV clip distributed via social media was edited to show Governor-General David Hurley and Chief of the Defence Force Angus Campbell reacting to the dancers.
But Defence has now issued a statement in an effort to slap down claims made about the “inappropriate” entertainment.
In a statement to 7NEWS.com.au, a Defence spokesperson emphasised that the dance was not part of the official naval ceremony.
And although Governor-General David Hurley was present at the event, he arrived after the twerking incident had already ended, they said.
However, it remains unclear which officials did manage to witness the now-viral dance moves.
“Ahead of her Commissioning on 10 April 2021, HMAS Supply engaged with the local community of Woolloomooloo – one of her home ports – to build positive relationships,” the spokesperson said.
“HMAS Supply and the Royal Australian Navy are committed to working with Australians from all backgrounds in actively supporting local charities and community groups.
“The dance was performed prior to the commencement of the Commissioning formalities and prior to the arrival of His Excellency the Governor-General, Chief of Navy and Commander Australian Fleet.”
The ABC told 7NEWS.com.au it will correct its online video clip to reflect a more accurate version of events.
The video that went to air included the Chief of Defence Angus Campbell watching the performance but not Governor-General David Hurley, but the clip distributed online featured both men.
The broadcaster plans to change its online version and the changes will be reflected in an Editor’s Note.
Meanwhile, the Navy has been widely pilloried for the performance. Former soldier and Liberal MP Phillip Thompson was among the critics.
“Standards in the ADF, and definitely when commissioning a ship, should be a little bit higher than that,” he told the ABC.
“We’ve got the CDF, we’ve got members of parliament there, and the Governor-General’s there, I don’t think it’s appropriate to be twerking.”
The public responds
When the video surfaced online, some found it funny while others were disgusted.
“I would flat out not believe you if the HMAS Supply banner wasn’t visible in the background,” another wrote.
“This is too strange,” said one person.
However, others slammed the stunt.
“This completely inappropriate & appalling,” one Twitter user wrote.
“Not a working synapse between the lot of those who organised and approved this.”
“At a time when we are promoting the rights of women not to be objectified, there are other dance moves that would be fun and equally energetic,” one person said.
This content was originally published here.