Lachlan Murdoch backs Fox board role for former Australian PM who called climate change science 'absolute crap'
- Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott has been nominated to Fox Corp's board of directors.
- The rightwing politician is a controversial figure who's called climate change science "absolute crap."
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch stepped down Thursday from his role at Fox and News Corp, handing over the reins to his son Lachlan.
The following day, one of his first moves was backing the nomination of two additions to the Fox board: former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott; and Peggy Johnson, CEO of AR tech company Magic Leap.
Abbott and Johnson "bring skills, experience and perspectives that will contribute to the board and benefit Fox," Lachlan Murdoch said in a press release.
Abbott, who was prime minister between 2013 and 2015 as leader of Australia's center-right Liberal Party, is not an entirely new face in the Murdoch world.
Before becoming a politician he was a journalist at the Murdoch-owned newspaper The Australian, according to Bloomberg. In the 2013 election campaign, Rupert Murdoch tweeted that "conviction politicians hard to find anywhere," but that Abbott was a "rare exception."
—Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) August 19, 2013
Over the years, however, Abbott has also earned a reputation as a controversial figure in Australian politics. He's previously said that the science around climate change is "absolute crap." He also faced criticism for sexist and misogynistic remarks.
Abbott, who briefly trained as a Catholic seminarian, has been a vocal opponent of gay marriage. He once wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald that those who identify as gay are "good people who deserve our love, respect and inclusion but that doesn't mean that we can't continue to reserve the term 'marriage' for the relationship of one man with one woman."
Johnson, meanwhile, is a former Microsoft executive who took the helm of Magic Leap in 2020.
Abbott and Johnson are slated to replace outgoing board members Anne Dias and Jacques Nasser. Their nominations will be considered by Fox shareholders at November's annual meeting, according to a media statement from Fox.
A representative for Lachlan Murdoch declined to comment, and Abbott did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider, made outside normal working hours.
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