Bulldog urinating on Yassmin Abdel-Magied mural is fake

FactCheck July 23, 2019

The Statement

AAP FactCheck examined a Facebook post from April 21, 2018 published by The Voice of Australia which shows a mural depicting the AFL Western Bulldogs Football Club’s bulldog mascot urinating on the face of ABC and SBS TV presenter Yassmin Abdel-Magied. 

This Facebook post from April 21, 2018 depicts AFL Western Bulldogs’s mascot urinating on the photo-shopped face of TV presenter Yassmin Abdel-Magied.

The artist’s signature Van T. Rudd is visible on the bottom left corner of the mural. Van T. Rudd describes himself as a “social justice activist” and his “sci-fi political art” as “Ventolin for the breath of resistance”. 

He is also the nephew of former Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd.

The Voice of Australia describes itself as being “against animal cruelty – particularly Halal Ritual Slaughter & the Islamisation of Australia”. Its Facebook group has over 39,000 likes.

The Facebook post depicting the mural had been shared more than 570 times and attracted more than 120 comments and 1200 reactions.

The Analysis

AAP FactCheck found the image posted by The Voice of Australia was a doctored version of Mr Rudd’s original mural.

The original mural was completed by Mr Rudd on May 20, 2017 on the corner of Donald and Barkley Streets in Footscray, Melbourne. The original depicted the bulldog mascot urinating on One Nation leader Pauline Hanson. 

The face of One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson was painted over by the local council following complaints from the public.

Mr Rudd said the purpose of the mural was to “show that racism and extreme right-wing politics won’t be tolerated in Melbourne’s west. And shouldn’t be tolerated anywhere of course.”

Here’s a Google Map image of where the wall Mr Rudd painted is located in Footscray, Melbourne. 

The face of Senator Hanson was painted over by the Maribyrnong City Council a day after it was completed, leaving just the urinating bulldog on the wall. The council’s chief executive officer Stephen Wall said it had received “numerous complaints” and it was “offensive”.

Sudanese-born TV presenter Yassmin Abdel-Magied’s face was photo-shopped into the mural where Senator Hanson’s face was and shared on social media. Part of Senator Hanson’s red hair was still visible at the top of the image in the Facebook post.

The image of Ms Abdel-Magied’s face used in the Facebook post of the doctored mural was originally taken by a photographer for SBS News and used in an article on Ms Abdel-Magied’s television show.

Ms Abdel-Magied, the 2015 Queensland Young Australian of the Year, was criticised in 2017 after she posted “Lest. We. Forget. (Manus, Nauru, Syria, Palestine …)” to her Facebook page on Anzac Day April 25.

The doctored mural post depicting her face was posted just before Anzac Day, 2018.  

The Verdict 

Based on the evidence, AAP FactCheck found the image posted on Facebook which showed the Western Bulldogs Football Club’s mascot urinating on television presenter Yassmin Abdel-Magied’s face to be false. The Facebook post shows a doctored version of an original work depicting the same bulldog mascot urinating on the face of One Nation leader, Pauline Hanson, which has since been removed. 

False – The Facebook post is false.

 First published Friday July 23, 2019 15:08 AEST

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