Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest says he has received death threats over his company’s controversial debate with an Aboriginal community in Western Australia about mining on their traditional land.
Forrest told The West Australian his company, Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) have taken the threats seriously.
Following a meeting with the Yindjibarndi people in the Roebourne earlier this month, a video was posted by the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation on US-based web host Vimeo, which claimed the meeting was unfair and accused FMG of disrespecting the indigenous people.
FMG had the video removed from the website, but not before it went viral and caused a mountain of controversy.
"The reason why it got taken off Vimeo is because it did incite racial hatred and I did receive death threats," Forrest said.
He also said people who played the video or allowed it to be played could be inciting racial hatred.
FMG released it own video of the meeting in response to what is said was a “highly misleading” portrayal in the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation’s original video.
Forrest’s company emailed Vimeo to have the footage removed because they feared the video would cause racial discrimination and unnecessarily endanger people’s safety.
"It incites racial hatred, is threatening and designed to intimidate," it read.
The video was not removed and until the company’s New York lawyers delivered a letter threatening legal action on the basis of defamation and inciting racial hatred, and the footage was removed shortly afterwards.
Forrest said the video was a "heavily edited corrupted version of events".
"It used me to advertise it," he said.
"It got a huge number of hits because I don’t put myself out in the media any more than I absolutely have to.
“And that was supposed to be a completely private meeting where, if they wanted to record it, they could for their own purposes.
“It was a complete hijack."
A spokesman for FMG said it would not be detailing the nature of the death threats.
Image: The Australian