Ministry for Women apologises for criticising Sean Plunket's Weinstein tweet

Sean Plunket.
Sean Plunket. Photo credit: Newshub. / File

The Ministry for Women has deleted a tweet and apologised to former broadcaster Sean Plunket, after he tweeted asking if anyone felt for Harvey Weinstein.

Several sexual harassment accusations have been levied at the film executive after a damning exposé by the New York Times.

On Wednesday, Mr Plunket sent out a tweet reading: "Anyone else feeling for Harvey Weinstein?"

He was met with outrage, which he mocked in a follow-up tweet.

"And the outraged are off. Offence taken everywhere. For the record hw [sic] deserves whatever he gets," he said.

He defended himself as saying it was a "social experiment" and he had a right to free speech.

But among his detractors was the official Twitter account for the Ministry for Women.

They tweeted an animated gif of Muppets character Miss Piggy repeatedly shaking her head and saying "no".

Ministry for Women apologises for criticising Sean Plunket's Weinstein tweet
Photo credit: Ministry for Women / Twitter

However the tweet was quickly deleted - and the Ministry even apologised to Mr Plunket.

"Apologies @SeanPlunket, we didn't intend any offence in our tweet (now deleted)," they said.

The deletion of the tweet has drawn criticism in itself.

"What the hell! What kind of Ministry for Women apologises to a man who makes light of sexual harassment? Sort yourselves out!" Dianne Khan wrote.

When contacted by Newshub, Mr Plunket originally claimed no knowledge of the tweets. Later in the night, he clarified that he did not know which tweets we were referring to as he "hadn't tweeted [tonight]".

"I've deleted my Twitter," he said when first contacted and asked about the tweets. 

However when the tweets were read out to him, he eventually acknowledged responsibility - but said he sent the messages to prove a point.

"People on Twitter were pre-disposed to take the worst away from my post," he said.

"It shows Twitter's not a place for conversation."

Mr Plunket said several of the replies were mild, simply stating, "No", they did not "feel for" the man accused of sexual harassing multiple women.

Others, he said, "launched into foul-mouthedly attacking myself personally".

He denied by saying "anyone else", it implied he did "feel for" Weinstein. He then followed up by saying "feels for" didn't have to mean someone supported Weinstein.

"Feels can be a lot of different things," he said.

Mr Plunket told Newshub he planned to delete his account again on Wednesday night, after he figured out how to do so. He said when he previously announced he would leave the site, he deleted the app from his phone.

The former communications director for The Opportunities Party was recently appointed to New Zealand's Broadcasting Standards Authority, which monitors broadcast media, including dealing with complaints. 

He has a disclaimer on his Twitter account reading "views my own" and said that means his tweets have "nothing to do with jobs I do or positions I hold".