Australia’s broadcast monitoring body has pinged Sunrise for a segment discussing the adoption of Aboriginal children by non-Indigenous Australians, ruling the breakfast show presented factual inaccuracies and provoked contempt on the basis of race.
The Hot Topics segment, which aired on March 13 this year, featured host Sam Armytage discussing the issue of rehoming Aboriginal children at risk of abuse alongside commentators Prue McSween and Ben Davies.
Notably, none of those figures are Aboriginal. Hell, McSween openly defended the Stolen Generation, before suggesting “we need to do it again, perhaps.”
Armytage also repeated the claim that by law, Aboriginal kids could only be rehomed with relatives or other Indigenous families.
Today, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) ruled that statement inaccurate, and dismissed the defence that Armytage was simply echoing a prior faulty report published in The Courier Mail.
ACMA added that a follow-up segment, which did feature input from Aboriginal guests, did not adequately correct or apologise for the error.
They also ruled that Sunrise effectively “conveyed that children left in Indigenous families would be abused and neglected, in contrast to non-Indigenous families where they would be protected.”
ACMA said it is in communication with Channel 7 about the breach. In a statement obtained by The Age, Seven’s director of news Craig McPherson confirmed the network will seek to overturn the ruling and called ACMA’s decision “a form of censorship.”
The decision comes after sustained protests against the show, with demonstrators taking to the show’s Martin Place studio to express their outrage. Of course, Sunrise actually displayed a fake backdrop during the broadcast to hide the demonstrations.