ABC boycotts AFI Awards

The ABC is so furious with the arrangements for the AFI Awards it is publicly withdrawing any support for the event.

The broadcaster is incensed with changes that diminish the importance of the television categories for the December ceremony, describing them as a “lack of respect.”

“We have not taken this decision lightly,” said ABC’s Director of Television Kim Dalton. “The AFI has removed a number of major television awards from the broadcast night. Some categories remain part of the Award Dinner, while others have been moved to the Industry Awards, effectively splitting up some program teams.”

The major TV nominations being moved include Best Comedy Series, Best Light Entertainment, Best Supporting Actor/Actress, Best Children’s Drama, Best Direction, Best Screenplay, and Outstanding Performance in a Television Comedy.

Dalton says the ABC has tried to work through compromises with the AFI but to no avail.

“We have spoken with the AFI to see if there is any way they will address our concerns, and they have advised us that changes can’t be made. Therefore, ABC TV Management has decided, with regret, that we are unable to support this year’s AFI Awards,” said Dalton.

ABC will not be attending either The AFI Industry Awards (December 5) or the on-air AFI Awards Dinner ceremony (December 6) or funding the attendance by any nominees. This year the ABC has nominations for Bastard Boys, Spicks and Specks, The Sideshow, The Chaser’s War on Everything and The New Inventors.

James Hewison from the AFI responded to the criticism saying, “As with all of the television networks, the ABC was actually contacted prior to the nominations announcement, which took place about two weeks ago, and their input was sought about which of their creative talent was to be invited to the awards night.

“Whilst it may not be a perfect model, and I’m absolutely open if people have suggestions, I think it’s the best that we can possibly assemble.”

Press Release:

The Australian Film Institute has instigated some major changes to the broadcast of its annual awards to be held in December, which ABC TV feels shows a lack of respect for the television nominees, and seriously diminishes the role television plays in the ceremony.

ABC TV has today withdrawn its support for the awards, and as a result, the network will not be attending either The AFI Industry Awards (December 5) or the on-air AFI Awards Dinner ceremony (December 6) or funding the attendance by any nominees.

ABC’s Director of Television Kim Dalton said “We have not taken this decision lightly. The AFI has removed a number of major television awards from the broadcast night. Some categories remain part of the Award Dinner, while others have been moved to the Industry Awards, effectively splitting up some program teams.

“The AFI alone has selected those they believe are the highest-profile faces to attend the broadcast, while other members of the team do not receive an invite to the dinner/broadcast. Instead they are invited to view the telecast on a large screen elsewhere.

“As we all know, making television is a team effort, and ABC TV cannot support this move which favours some over others,” he said.

The major TV nominations being moved include Best Comedy Series, Best Light Entertainment, Best Supporting Actor/Actress, Best Children’s Drama, Best Direction, Best Screenplay, and Outstanding Performance in a Television Comedy.

“We have spoken with the AFI to see if there is any way they will address our concerns, and they have advised us that changes can’t be made. Therefore, ABC TV Management has decided, with regret, that we are unable to support this year’s AFI Awards,” said Dalton.

2 Comments:

  1. I don’t blame the ABC for one second, well done for taking a stand! These things are getting far too commercial and the format is getting totally boring and manufactured as a result.

  2. OMG do the AFI still have awards – I thought these died years ago. The AFI should be thanking the ABC for the publicity – its the only bit they are going to get!.

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