Jokey Australian rock singer-songwriter Kirin Callinan is known for his love of the tacky 1980s rock aesthetic and his questionable taste. So it’s not entirely surprising that he flashed his penis to photographers during the 2017 Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Music Awards last November. What is surprising, however, is that the singer has been been cleared of all charges after planning to plea guilty to “willful and obscene exposure in a public place.”
Callinan’s flashing of photographers occurred on Nov. 28, 2017, while on the ARIA red carpet outside of Sydney’s Star Casino. Photographers allegedly encouraged Callinan to lift up his kilt, and he obliged.
But soon after video of the flashing emerged (below), Callinan was charged by police and faced a potential $1,100 fine or a six-month prison sentence if found guilty.
As a result of his flashing, the Laneway Festival music event removed Callinan from its lineup after fellow festival artist and trans performer Sian Vandermuelen (AKA Miss Blanks) told event organizers that such behavior “shouldn’t be tolerated.”
Her post explaining her reasoning said that Kirin Callinan and his “long and recent history of reckless and insensitive actions reinforces an entitlement which permits Kirin and others like him to dismiss valid issues, and normalizes racism, ableism and sexual assault.”
RE: Kirin J Callinan being removed from Laneway Festival 2018. – Today at 5:30pm, I’ll be on @triplejhack expressing my views on the removal of Kirin J Callinan from the Laneway Festival 2018 lineup. I believe in the importance of a process of accountability which is why I applaud the organisers of Laneway’s decision to remove Kirin J Callinan from the festival lineup. His long and recent history of reckless and insensitive actions reinforces an entitlement which permits Kirin and others like him to dismiss valid issues, and normalises racism, ableism and sexual assault. Amidst the ‘me too’ discussions, it’s important to see preventative actions as well as support systems. I feel good knowing that Laneway Festival are working hard with their artists, including myself, to create a more inclusive and safe space for its talent, staff, and patrons, as well as the introduction of the 1800 Laneway program.
Despite Vandermuelen’s victory in getting the rocker removed, Callinan stood up for the trans artist, telling fans not to hurl abuse at her despite being “a wee bit disappointed” at being removed from the festival lineup.
In an Instagram message (below), he wrote, “More important than some rocking concert, more relevant than resentment or regrets, is respect ~ for each & every one of us.”
My friends, There’s been some talk. Debate & discourse. Much of it positive, some of it misinformed, a small n sanctimonious element too. Regardless o the noise, however, it does not sit well with me one puny pitiful bit that a fellow artist & clearly strong, trans woman of colour could now be shamed or take the blame, be defamed or suffer the same re my recent omission from a certain summertime festivus, regardless o the role she may have played #laneway #lanewayfestival @lanewayfestival She is the exact sort of artist we should all support ~ bold, original, flamboyant, progressive & with somethin to say. Furthermore, it mortifies me to think that she could now be made to feel unwelcome in any way, shape or fabulous form ~ onstage, backstage or on her ig page, at any stage. So I’m saying so, there will be no harassment, there will be no D’s out 4 Miss B in 20 A~teen, there will be tolerance & there will be respect #respect #tolerance #therewillbe I’m serious. Deadly. To say I’m a wee bit disappointed that I will not also be performing for every dusty, sexy, sunburnt woman & man & non-binary human ‘round this beaut n dusty sunburnt land is the understatement o the new year. But more important than some rocking concert, more relevant than resentment or regrets, is respect ~ for each & every one o us. So, be kinder to each other in 2018, be kinder to yourselves and perhaps, one day not too far from now, the world will be big enough, for all of us #allofus #bigenough #thisguysinlovewithyou ? by Annett @annett.bonkowski
Today the court reported that Callinan was cleared of all charges and given a 12-month good behavior bond with no conviction on his record.
Callinan’s lawyer, Christian Hearn, said, “Why did he do it? He did it as an error of judgement, he did it in a jovial mood, he didn’t do it to shock anyone.”
Here’s video of Kirin Callinan flashing photographers on the ARIA red carpet:
— neil mullane finn (@NeilFinn) February 2, 2018