ABC Staff Held A Walkout In Solidarity W/ Stan Grant After He Copped ‘Relentless’ Racial Abuse

ABC staff have taken to the streets in support of Stan Grant after the company’s big boss apologised to the Wiradjuri journalist and promised to launch a review into how it can better protect staff from sustained and vitriolic racism.

The Q+A host announced last week that he was leaving the show and the media altogether after years of racial abuse against him and his family, which he says the ABC did not protect him from.

Grant’s daughter Alana gave an emotional address to the crowd about his mental health at a walkout outside ABC’s Ultimo office in Sydney on Monday.

“It’s really hard to see him struggling, and that he’s had to cop the racism and the disgusting filth that has been put online,” she said tearfully.

She thanked the crowd for supporting not just Grant, but all First Nations journalists who have to deal with similar vitriol.

ABC Director of News Justin Stevens, who Grant singled out as a supportive friend in his column, also spoke at the rally and condemned the media’s apathy to racial abuse.

“The line in the sand is here. We will not tolerate our staff being subjected to racial abuse, or any form of abuse. It must stop,” he said.

“Other sections of the media that play a part in facilitating, encouraging, drawing attention to this need to take a really hard look at themselves and the role that they play.

ICYMI, Grant announced in an emotional column for ABC News last Friday that he would be leaving his role hosting Q+A and taking a step away from the media because of the torrent of racial abuse he has endured, both in general and, specifically, during King Charles‘ coronation — during which he was attacked by pissy royalists because he refused to celebrate colonisers who endorsed (and benefited from) atrocities committed against Indigenous people. Yeah, people really think saying real facts is “biased”.

The racist backlash Grant faced for his comments was swift and unforgiving, and the fact he was invited onto the panel to speak from an Indigenous perspective, but then not protected from racism, reeks of tokenism.

“I am writing this because no one at the ABC — whose producers invited me onto their coronation coverage as a guest — has uttered one word of public support,” he wrote in his column.

“Not one ABC executive has publicly refuted the lies written or spoken about me. I don’t hold any individual responsible; this is an institutional failure.”

ABC’s managing director David Anderson has since apologised to Grant and reiterated his support in an email to staff on Sunday.

“The experiences of ABC presenter and commentator Stan Grant following our coverage of the coronation of King Charles III have been distressing and confronting for the ABC, as they should be for the entire media industry and the broader community,” Anderson wrote, per SBS News.

“Stan has our full support. And he has always had our full support. Stan makes an enormous contribution to conversations of national importance.”

According to SBS News, Anderson said anti-ABC reporting by other outlets has been constant lately, and acknowledged it leads to presenters and journalists being “personally attacked and vilified”.

“How the ABC supports people in these moments is important,” he wrote.

“Stan Grant has stated that he has not felt publicly supported. For this, I apologise to Stan.

“The ABC endeavours to support its staff in the unfortunate moments when there is external abuse directed at them.”

Anderson also said he agreed to launch an internal investigation into how the ABC handles such abuse.

“The Chair and Deputy Chair of the ABC’s Bonner Committee have asked me to conduct a review to investigate and make recommendations about ABC responses to racism affecting ABC staff, and what we can do better to support staff who face it,” he said.

This is great and all, but it’s definitely disappointing that it took Stan Grant leaving what he felt was a racially apathetic environment to create change within the organisation. Words of support after the fact are a little too late — and it seem some ABC staff agree, given their rallies held in solidarity with him today.

Too often workplaces — be it in the media or otherwise — want to cash in on the wisdom and lived experience of diverse employees, without doing the work to create a safe environment for them to exist in. You can see it not just here, but even in reality TV — remember when The Bachelor cast Pakistani Australian Areeba Emmanuel in an attempt at diversity, only to allow her to be abused by other white castmates?

If you want people to trust you with their stories, then fkn protect them from the backlash that will inevitably come with sharing them in this racist nation.