An Asian-Australian ABC star says they have considered leaving public broadcasting over racist abuse by trolls.
Celebrity Letters and Numbers host Michael Hing made the revelation in the wake of Indigenous Q+A host Stan Grant’s decision to step down over the “relentless racial filth” spewed at him – and his perceived lack of to support from ABC bosses.
Hing, who is of Chinese descent, tweeted on Friday that he was “in solidarity with Stan Grant” – then backed up his views during a speech on the Channel 10 show The Project.
Michael Hing, who works on Network Ten’s ABC and The Project, said he has also considered leaving the ABC over troll bullying and said more support is needed from ‘white’ bosses
In a column on Friday, Mr Grant said he felt “no one” at the ABC had publicly defended him or disproved “the lies written or spoken” about him by trolls.
Mr. Hing’s comments echoed the same sentiments.
“I’ve considered leaving the ABC several times over the years because of the ongoing racial abuse that all white management teams all too often can’t understand,” he tweeted.
“It’s getting better, but there’s still a long way to go.”
Mr Hing explained his situation further on The Project on Friday night.
“Stan Grant is a very smart and very thoughtful man,” he said.
“I don’t know the details of his experience, but I’m someone who worked at the ABC for a few years and I’ve also thought about leaving because of racial abuse.
“I work on a radio show there and I’d say maybe once a week I get berated (by online trolls) for being racist or told I’m not Australian… from what Stan’s talking about.”
He said he had some very positive experiences discussing the situation with colleagues, but felt the broadcaster could do more at higher levels.
“If you present a problem to bosses and sometimes they’re an all-white group, it’s really hard for them to understand exactly what it’s like to be called racial names or slandered in that way.
“So it can be a struggle and I think that’s at least a little bit of what Stan went through.”
“So I wish him all the best, and I hope he gets the care and support he deserves.”
Stan Grant announced on Friday that he was stepping down as host of Q+A over racial abuse, but he didn’t say for how long. He wrote in a column that he felt let down by the ABC
Commentators were quick to show support for both Mr. Hing and Mr. Grant.
“Truly feel sorry for Stan and anyone racially vilified,” one person wrote.
‘But please try to remember it’s from a very small minority, most good Australians only care if you’re a good person or not.
“But I’m white and I have no idea what it feels like.”
Even Prime Minister Anthony Albanese weighed in on Mr Grant’s departure from Q+A when he landed in Japan for the G7 summit on Friday afternoon.
“Stan Grant is someone who has my respect and I wish him well,” he said.
“I think leading up to the referendum that will be held in the fourth quarter of this year, we should be very, very aware of some of the hurtful comments that have been made.
You only have to look at one of my social media feeds to see some of the comments that are frankly completely out of line.
“We can respect different views without doing any harm and that’s important.”
In his lengthy column on Friday, Mr Grant noted that the ABC had made an official complaint to Twitter earlier this year about the “relentless racist filth” directed against him.
“I write this because no one at the ABC — whose producers have invited me as a guest for their coronation coverage — has uttered a single word of public support,” he wrote.
“No ABC executive has publicly refuted the lies written or spoken about me. I hold no one responsible; this is an institutional failure.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese even weighed in on the scandal as he stepped off a plane for the G7 summit in Tokyo on Friday (pictured)
“I appreciate the friendship of ABC News Director Justin Stevens. He has been a support and a comfort. He’s trying to change an organization that has its own legacy of racism. But he knows I’m disappointed. I am discouraged.
“I was not the producer or host of the coronation broadcast, but every newspaper article accusing the ABC of bias has carried my image. I’m writing this because I don’t want people to portray me as a person of hate.’
ABC News executive Justin Stevens issued a statement on Friday denouncing the abuse.
“Racist abuse, including threats to (Mr. Grant’s) safety, has become particularly virulent since appearing as part of the ABC’s Coronation coverage,” he wrote.
Stan is one of Australia’s best and most respected journalists and broadcasters. The ABC stands behind him and condemns the attacks directed at him.
“The ABC has and will continue to refer threats to the police.
Responsibility for reporting rests with ABC News management, not Stan Grant. Yet it is he who has fallen victim to a rant of criticism, especially in the usual sections of the media that focus on the ABC.’
Daily Mail Australia has contacted the ABC for comment.