“The privilege of being able to turn on the TV and see almost everyone is white”

Lidia Thorpe, a Gunnai-Kurnai & Gunditjmara woman and former Greens MP appeared on Studio 10 this week in a follow-up panel to the clash between Kerri-Anne Kennerley and Yumi Stynes.

Thorpe (pictured left) was in a Melbourne studio addressing Kennerley’s comments while Alice Springs councillor Jacinta Price (pictured right), in the 10 Sydney studio, disagreed with her position and sided with Kennerley.

But Thorpe has now has written an opinion piece for Nine website 9Honey titled ‘Here’s what I wasn’t given the chance to say to KAK.’

In her article she refers to “sweeping generalisations” on the program and disputes claims by Price she herself is racist and privileged.

“On morning television, I told KAK she needed to let go of her ‘white privilege’. KAK was offended but it wasn’t an attack,” Thorpe writes.

“It’s about KAK understanding she has the privilege of being able to turn on the TV and see almost everyone is white. It’s about going into a workplace and not being labelled the coloured person in the room, about giving birth in a hospital without being allocated an Aboriginal liaison officer, about walking into a shop and not being asked where your money came from, about applying for a rental property without hiding that you’re Aboriginal.

“In KAK’s world, everything in your environment is legitimising rather than undermining your entitlement to be there.”

There was little consensus in the panel follow-up other than the women agreeing to visit Alice Springs to see communities first-hand. KAK agreed to the invitation on air.

You can read more of Thorpe’s article here.


  1. Interested to know if the ratings have dropped, increased or stayed the same since Kerri Anne started on the show. And are more people watching now because of the Australia Day contraversy and all the media coverage?

  2. Kerrie-Ann has turned me right off Studio10. Originally she was only supposed to be on the show two days a week, but has been doing at least four days recently. I won’t watch it again until she is no longer a part of it.

  3. This is actually getting quite insane now – imagine being in Japanese and complaining about seeing too many “Japanese-looking” presenters on TV? Doesn’t this discussion seem surreal???

    • Do you mean Japan?
      The thing is though, Japan wasn’t occupied, or should we say ‘colonised’ by the British. Australian TV doesn’t reflect the indigenous people or the minorities that helped build it up.

      • I disagree – there have been numerous indigenous and minority faces and TV shows/channels in Australia for many years. Just because every show doesn’t include one doesn’t mean it is an issue. It’s the latest trend to be outraged without bothering to research. Would you prefer we had a “tick box” of minorities/ethnicities before anything went to air to ensure no offense is taken for events that happened in the past?

  4. Jacinta’s self description is, ‘Jacinta Nampijinpa Price is a Warlpiri/Celtic woman from Alice Springs’

    Refreshing for someone to take pride in both sides of their ancestry..

  5. The biggest question in my mind when Ms. Thorpe told KAK she needed to let go of her white privilege was to wonder how exactly one does that? There’s no denying that all of the advantages Ms. Thorpe mentions in her opinion piece are true, but there’s no way one can simply “let them go,” because KAK is white. Personally I think Ms. Thorpe came across as a very divisive force on the show, while Ms. Price seemed a lot more willing to come together with other Australians and work on a solution.

  6. No such thing as white privilege – there is earned privilege. If people like the Greens want to ‘divide and conquer’ and be purposely attacking to get a reaction that’s their business. I would’ve much preferred Lydia actually answer some of the basic questions put to her rather than attack and blame everyone and everything else.

    • I agree, privilege as well as respect is earned. I am of Gamilaroi descent but I acknowledge all my ancestry, which is predominantly English and Irish. My Great Grandfather (x4), a son of two convicts, married an aboriginal woman. I can imagine the prejudice that they endured throughout their life but they worked hard and were strong despite this. I happen to agree with Jacinta Price on this issue, I have also met her and she is a remarkable person, so is her mother and father. The thing I don’t get is, that I can’t apparently agree with her without being howled down by others of indigenous descent and telling me that I have no right to declare my ancestry. When did the aboriginal community become a communist party. Nothing will ever be solved with this attitude.

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