Some travellers already painting over offensive slogans

French travellers Max Bartra, 22, and Pierre ‘Kermit’ Graveleau, 22, with their Wicked Campers van.
French travellers Max Bartra, 22, and Pierre ‘Kermit’ Graveleau, 22, with their Wicked Campers van. Megan Kinninment

SOME travellers spray paint over offensive slogans on the Wicked Camper vans they hire, the manager of the Byron Bay Wicked Campers distribution point revealed yesterday.

The camper vans are hired online and then collected from outlets around Australia, including one at the Simmo's Automotive Group in Byron Bay.

And some slogans had been seen as offensive, Simmo's owner Warren Simmons said.

He said some vans were dropped off with certain words spray-painted over.

"I don't agree with some of the slogans myself," he said.

"But the vans are also a bit of a tourist attraction in Byron Bay and the new vans are coming through have less sexist slogans and are more music-oriented."

The van's painted slogans have been in the spotlight this week following an online petition against the company that garnered 120,000 signatures and led to the Senate unanimously voting on Wednesday night to call on the company to remove misogynistic and racist slogans.

The online petition was started by a Sydney mother after her 11-year-old daughter saw a slogan on a Wicked Campers van that read: "Inside every princess is a slut who wants to try it just once".

Yesterday the mother, Paula Orbea, posted on the website: "Victory! We've just won! Wicked Campers have apologised, and committed to removing all misogynistic slogans from their vans within six months. Nothing has shifted them in the past. Complaints. Fines.

"But after initially responding to the petition saying they "didn't care about the uproar" - after your massive support for my petition, they've apologised and will re-spray the offensive, sexist vans. This was a people power win.

"The kind of sexism and misogyny on those Wicked Campers vans isn't trivial - it's degrading to women, harmful for our children to consume, and condones a rape culture that sees one-in-three Australian women sexually assaulted in their lifetimes."

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