A defamation suit brought against the Seven Network over a Sunrise segment will proceed after the network failed to have it stricken out in the Federal in Sydney on Wednesday.
15 members of the remote Northern Territory community of Yirrkala claim the show defamed them by playing slightly blurred background footage of them during a panel discussion in March 2018.
During a discussion around a newspaper article, commentator Prue MacSween suggested Indigenous children should be taken from their families “just like the first Stolen Generation.” It drew headlines, protests and an industry breach by ACMA.
The footage was originally filmed with consent for a health promotion in Yirrkala.
Seven’s barrister Kieran Smark, SC, argued there were issues with identifying those in the footage.
But Justice Steven Rares disagreed, saying, “You’ve got a whole community up there, most of whom will be able to recognise each other, some of whom watch Sunrise.”
He ordered Seven to pay the costs of the hearing.
After outrage over the segment Sunrise addressed the topic with members of the Indigenous community.