SBS managing director James Taylor said he was “sickened and saddened” to learn of racism issues within the broadcaster.
Screenwriter Kodie Bedford, detailed on Twitter on Monday her experience when she was a cadet journalist at SBS in 2008. She wrote of humiliation and racism in SBS, as an indigenous journalist.
Others including Allan Clarke, Laura Murphy-Oates, and Antoinette Lattouf also spoke of bullying and racism during their time at SBS.
Taylor has told Guardian Australia it was abhorrent that an institution “that so visibly lives the standards of inclusion” was a place where racism in the workplace had been evident.
“As I have said to all SBS team members today, I am committed to a culture that stands opposed to any form of racism or exclusion,” Taylor said.
“It can take many overt and less overt forms, none of which are acceptable. Racism is abhorrent and we are committed to ensuring it has no place at SBS.”
SBS staff have also written to the Board to encourage its executive make up to better reflect its Charter and diverse communities.
James Taylor statement:
I’ve been shocked and saddened by accounts of racism experienced at SBS.
SBS stands opposed to any form of racism or exclusion. It can take many overt and less overt forms, none of which are acceptable. Racism is abhorrent and I am committed to ensuring it has no place at SBS.
All members of the SBS team – including the Board and leadership – are deeply committed to our purpose and Charter. That is reflected in the content and services we deliver to Australians every day – and most recently in our work providing comprehensive information and updates on COVID-19 in 63 languages.
The diversity of our people across SBS is one of our greatest strengths. I stand by the valuable contributions every one of them makes, and the programming, news coverage and radio services they provide which reflect and explore modern Australia, unlike any other media organisation.
I recognise that representation matters, and not unlike many institutions today, we still have a way to go to reflect the diversity of the audiences we serve amongst our senior leadership team. We are committed to improving this.
Managing Director, SBS