Australian television streaming service Stan and filmmaking production company Roadshow Productions will launch legal action against members of a far-right group who targeted Labor Senator Sam Dastyari in a Melbourne pub on Wednesday.
In a statement released on Thursday, Stan and Roadshow said the members of the group who accosted Dastyari misused the term 'Patriot Blue' and denied the name, which stems from upcoming drama series 'Romper Stomper' -- based on the 1992 film by the same name--, has any connection to real-life neo-Nazi groups.
Stan and Village Roadshow to take legal action against the group who racially abused Sam Dastyari, arguing they're misusing the name "Patriot Blue" from one of their shows @abcnews @politicsabc #auspol pic.twitter.com/ojBDiXz2EV— Matthew Doran (@MattDoran91) November 9, 2017
"Stan and Roadshow Productions would like to clarify that while our series does refer to a purely fictional group created for the series called Patriot Blue, there is no association between our organisations or the 'Romper Stomper' production team and those involved in yesterday's incident," the statement said.
"We strongly condemn the actions of this group and racial discrimination in all its forms. The group involved misappropriated the name of the fictional group from the series.
"Stan and Roadshow Productions today instructed law firm Gilbert & Tobin to take appropriate legal action in relation to the infringement of the Patriot Blue trademark, and use of the Stan name on Facebook."
A small group of men, calling themselves 'Patriot Blue' confronted Dastyari in Footscray on Wednesday evening, saying "you terrorist" and "you little monkey" at an advertised book event for the senator at the VU Bar.
The mobile camera footage, filmed by the men and posted to Facebook, shows them approaching Dastyari at the bar ordering drinks as one of them shouts, "I've got some money from China, mate. Want some money?", before the abuse rapidly becomes more aggressive.
One of the men accosting the senator was wearing a uniform from the company Toll Holdings. Toll has since told HuffPost Australia that the man had been a staff member, but had not been employed by them for several months. It has been trying to get the former employee to return the uniform, but he has, so far, refused.
"Toll can confirm that the individual wearing the Toll polo shirt is not employed by Toll, and has not worked for us for several months.
" The actions of these individuals in no way reflect the beliefs and values of Toll. No member of the community should have to endure the behaviour displayed overnight and we do not tolerate such behaviour at our company.
" At Toll, we celebrate our diverse community and we expect all of our people to behave in a manner that is consistent with our values at all times.
The video, which was uploaded originally to the Patriots Blue Facebook page, has since been deleted.
On Thursday condemnation of the abuse came from all sides of politics, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull saying "there is no place for racial vilification in Australia."
"We are the most successful multicultural society in the world and that is because it's built, our society is built, on a foundation of mutual respect. And so we should have zero tolerance racism and racist abuse like that," he said.
Good on Sam Dastyari for standing up and calling these idiots out for what they are. There's no place for this sort of stuff in Australia.— Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) November 8, 2017
Dastyari, however, sought to play down the comments saying the abuse is something he bears on a regular basis.
"I cop a fair bit of this. I get stalked pretty much by white, racist hate groups," he told Seven's 'Sunrise' program.
"It is hurtful. It is disgusting. It is confronting. It does take its toll."