MasterChef Judge Jock Zonfrillo Calls Out Racist Troll Targeting Melissa Leong
Jock posted a screenshot of a message on Facebook from a man called Graham, who said that he was "sick" of "having to watch trailers of [Jock] and that painful g*ok" on TV and accused the pair of being "up themselves".
Jock was quick to correct Graham's description of Melissa, instead calling her his "work wife" and friend. "I can only assume you are referring to @fooderati when you used the term 'g*ok' . . . . She's actually Melissa, she's my work wife, my sister, my mate, she drinks espresso like I do, she is able to express and articulate a damn sight better than you can clearly.
"She's a woman whose origin happens to be different than yours, but why does that make you so afraid?"
Jock added that he pitied Graham's bigotry. "I feel sorry for you that you cannot see past the colour of someone's skin or actually the fact they are just different than your white ass in any way."
He requested that Graham take the time to educate himself to "be a better human". "You owe it to yourself and everyone around you," he added, saying that his friends and family are likely "embarrassed" by his racist language.
"I'm sick of this type of thing getting sent to me so here's a heads up . . . if you send this kind of sh*t to me it's getting called out," he concluded as a warning.
When one fan commented that he'd respond to such a message with one word beginning with the letter C, Jock replied, "normally that's me but I've actually had enough now."
Melissa commented on the post herself, saying, "We have such a long way to go as a nation, if we think racism doesn't exist. Thank you for being an ally, a friend and an awesome work husband. ❤️."
MasterChef contestants and guest judges commented on the post too in support of Jock and Melissa, including Khanh Ong, Reece Hignell, Rose Adam, Tracy Collins, Simon Toohey, Emelia Jackson, Laura Sharrad, Matt Moran and Darren Purchese.
Melissa shared the post to her Instagram Stories, taking the opportunity to mark up Graham's terrible grammar. "I couldn't help myself," she said. "I had to mark this one up. Grammar is the difference between knowing your shit, and knowing you're shit, Graham."
Melissa has previously spoken on Sharon Johal's podcast, We Are the Real Ones, about wanting "to be understood", growing up as an Australian of Chinese-Singaporean descent.
She spoke about what the representation of diverse communities on MasterChef, and her own role in that shift, meant to people. "Look, it's not curing cancer by any means, but each and every one of us and our stories and our backgrounds matter.
"Diversity to me means inclusivity. It means even representation for all walks of life — for the able and the differently abled; for everyone from different parts of the world who speak different languages to be understood, to be seen, to be valued and not to be overlooked."