Former SBS newsreader Lee Lin Chin has confirmed she resigned from SBS after 30 years in 2018 because she was unhappy.
Chin has told Guardian Australia she had concerns over management’s treatment of staff and the corporate direction of the broadcaster.
Her shock departure was announced the very day SBS management was having a showcase of its content to media, raising industry eyebrows over its exquisite timing.
The revelation follows recent reports of workplace culture complaints by ex-employees.
While Chin did not suffer personally from racist attitudes at SBS, she believed there were systemic workplace issues, including a lack of diversity in management.
In a 2018 letter to then-SBS chairman Hass Dellal she said, “My reasons for arriving at this difficult decision is the general unhappiness at the style of management of the network, the culture resulting from it, the mistreatment of staff in the lack of consideration and common human respect, as well as the direction SBS is moving.”
An SBS spokesperson said, “As stated at the time of her departure, SBS respected Lee Lin’s decision at the time to leave SBS to pursue other commercial opportunities, and wished her well in those endeavours.
“In relation to the correspondence – SBS Chairman Dr Hass Dellal AO twice invited Lee Lin to meet with him to discuss her email, including over the phone if preferred. Lee Lin did not respond to those invitations. As such there were no specific allegations which could be investigated.”
Screenwriter Kodie Bedford recently detailed humiliation and racism she experienced when she was a cadet journalist in 2008. Others including Nick Bhasin, Allan Clarke, Laura Murphy-Oates, and Antoinette Lattouf also spoke of bullying and racism during their time at SBS.
Managing Director James Taylor, who was appointed in 2018, has vowed to address internal culture stating, “….I am committed to a culture that 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 we are committed to ensuring it has no place at SBS.”