Antoinette Lattouf Accuses ABC Of Racial Discrimination Following Firing Over Palestine Posts


Journalist Antoinette Lattouf has amended her Fair Work case against the ABC to include racial discrimination after the broadcaster fired her three days into a radio gig following posts she shared about Palestine.

In a statement shared by Lattouf and her lawyers, the award-winning reporter alleged the ABC has a history of treating non-white journalists with more scrutiny than their white peers.

“I’m a big supporter of public broadcasting. I will always advocate for a well funded, fair, independant and representative ABC. Our democracy is more enriched for it,” she said in a statement.

“This is why it is disheartening to not only witness the horrendous treatment of people of colour by the ABC over the years, but now to personally — and so publicly — feel its wrath.

“Despite the ABC’s rhetoric about diversity and inclusion, it is currently an unsafe workplace for journalists who are people of colour,” Lattouf alleged.

“I’m aware of a number of diverse journalists who have either resigned or are on the brink of resigning because they are unfairly scrutinised, don’t believe their employer will back them and fear they will be the next to be thrown under the bus.

“Even for non-diverse journalists, my sacking and the sacking of others has a chilling effect on journalism. People are now too scared to report without fear or favour.”

Antoinette Lattouf’s Instagram post announcing her gig at ABC Radio, shortly before she was fired. Image: Instagram @antoinette_lattouf

Why was Antoinette Lattouf fired from the ABC?

Lattouf, who is of Lebanese background, was fired from hosting ABC Sydney Mornings after she shared posts on Instagram about Palestinian victims of Israeli bombings and blockades in Gaza.

Her lawyer, Josh Bornstein from Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, claimed in a statement that Lattouf was not in a news or current affairs role when she was fired from the ABC, and that she had shared four posts during her employment — one of which was a video by Human Rights Watch that reported people in Palestine were being starved by Israel as part of its assault on Gaza.

He noted that ABC News had already reported on the same video before Lattouf was fired.

The Human Rights Watch video Antoinette Lattouf shared to her Instagram Story shortly before she was fired. Image: Instagram.

“[Lattouf] was told during her dismissal that sharing the Human Rights Watch post was somehow a breach of the ABC’s social media policy. Then she was suddenly and humiliatingly sacked,” he alleged.

“Since October 7 and the ensuring conflict in the Middle East, it has become notorious in the media industry that Arab and Muslim journalists are being intimidated, censored and sacked.

“In this case we will show that the ABC has not sacked white journalists for expressing political opinion, even when those journalists worked in news and current affairs.”

Bornstein said Lattouf was seeking a “detailed, public apology” and “compensation for harm to reputation and for distress and humiliation” from the ABC. He said Lattouf will also seek an order that the ABC offer her a role back on air, and that the broadcaster faces penalties “to deter it from repeating this conduct.”

The ABC is expected to respond to Lattouf’s lawyers by January 15, and the Fair Work case will be heard on January 18.

Image: Instagram @antoinette_lattouf