Controversial ABC coverage of the coronation that caused Stan Grant to stop his primetime appearance sparked 1,800 complaints, broadcaster reveals
- Stan Grant presented the final Q&A on Monday night
- Indigenous journalist subjected to racial abuse
The coverage of the ABC’s coronation that led to Stan Grant stepping down as host of the Q&A program led to about 1,800 complaints from the public, the general manager said.
David Anderson gave evidence to Senate estimates in Canberra and said the complaints numbered about 60 filed through the ABC’s official editorial complaints channel.
“Some of it was in good faith, a lot of it was not in good faith,” he said.
Hundreds of comments sent to the ABC consisted of racist attacks, while others said the coronation discussion was worthwhile but ill-timed, Mr Anderson said.
Grant made the decision to leave Q&A last week after racism rose against him following his involvement in a panel discussion about the coronation.
The ABC’s coronation coverage that led to Stan Grant (pictured) stepping down as host of the Q&A program led to about 1,800 complaints from the public, the general manager said.
Hundreds of comments sent to the ABC consisted of racist attacks, while others said the discussion about the coronation was worthwhile but ill-timed. The photo features King Charles and Queen Camilla
On the show, the veteran correspondent, who is Indigenous, pointed out that the crown represents the invasion and theft of Aboriginal land.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Mr. Anderson again apologized for letting Grant down by not publicly supporting him sooner.
He said he was concerned about the ABC’s public-facing staff, highlighting an assessment of whether the organization was doing enough to support its employees.
“There is absolutely no tolerance for any form of racism and we want to be able to protect it,” he said.
Mr Anderson said he was particularly concerned about First Nations staff as the referendum on the Indigenous vote in parliament approaches.
ABC’s David Anderson (pictured center) said he was particularly concerned about First Nations personnel
News director Justin Stevens read several headlines attacking coverage of the ABC’s coronation that had been published in commercial media.
He said Grant had long been a victim of brutal racism for doing his job and that coverage of the coronation saw a spike in racist vitriol on social media.
“We are talking about a very large number and deluge of racist abuse and threats against Stan and his family over the course of several days,” he said.
He flagged that the national broadcaster would change how it supported staff who suffered vicious abuse.