Samantha Armytage and Prue MacSween are facing court for race vilification following a segment on Channel Seven’s Sunrise.
The Federal Court will determine the case involving eight complainants after it failed to settle at conciliation in the Human Rights Commission.
Samantha Armytage and Prue MacSween call for second stolen generation
The 2018 segment on the breakfast program involved Armytage, MacSween and radio host Ben Davis.
During the discussion, the panel suggested the idea of a second stolen generation to help Aboriginal children.
MacSween said during the segment:
“Just like the first stolen generation where a lot of kids were taken for their wellbeing, we need to do it again.”
Race vilification happens when a person, or group of people:
- incites hatred towards,
- serious contempt for,
- or severe ridicule
of another person, or group of people, based on their race, by a public act, like broadcasting on television.
Accountability and equality
Aboriginal elder Aunty Rhonda is leading the vilification complaint saying the group is seeking “accountability and equality”.
“This nationwide broadcast by Channel Seven in March 2018 was another symbol of national shame and another appalling example of the deeply entrenched virus of racism that still plagues white platforms of privilege in this country.
“Channel Seven’s subsequent disingenuous downcast eyes and ‘we’re so sorry’ murmurs, after we protested and their racism was called out, mean nothing to us when they refuse all reasonable requests for proper repatriation of the pulverising hate, humiliation and distress we feel every day of our lives.”
Segment breached Code of Practice
Additionally, the Australian Communication and Media Authority found the segment breached the Industry Code Of Practice.
As a result, ACMA forced Channel Seven to independently audit the production process behind Sunrise.
Furthermore, it required all editorial staff to undertake training on racism and Aboriginal affairs.
In the days following the segment, protesters chanted outside Sunrise’s Sydney studio.
As a result, Sunrise producers closed blinds across the studio windows.
And further, they projected old footage of the show’s Martin Place backdrop behind the hosts.
At the time, protesters slammed the show for going to extraordinary lengths to hide them from their audience.
Protesters targeted the breakfast show again when Sunrise filmed its show on the Gold Coast during the Commonwealth Games.
Armytage condescendingly said on-air at the time:
“I do want to point out that the original segment that sparked this was that children are at risk, not about land rights … just keep that in mind.”
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