Lee Lin Chin left SBS over staff mistreatment

SBS presenter left over management, mistreatment of staff and lack of "common human respect."

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.”

14 Responses

  1. Lee Lin Chin is a highly recognizable part of the SBS furniture, as a TV personality she went through a number of style changes during her 30 odd years including wearing clothes from a self designed fashion line, I would have thought she did pretty well commercially, having been given a lot of creative license courtesy of the SBS, she certainly had plenty of time to make her opinions better known as the SBS’s administrative culture changed.

  2. So she’s happy to take a cheque from Uber eats who don’t even pay the people that work for them minimum wage but draws a line at the SBS management not being diverse enough. Got it.

      1. I’m simply pointing out the hypocrisy of her saying she resigned because of “the mistreatment of staff in the lack of consideration and common human respect” yet she is happy to take a cheque from Uber Eats who as Pertinax points out and anyone with the internet knows have a range of issues that ultimately have similar outcomes. How’s the management diversity of Uber Eats? I know, not your area.

    1. Uber’s disputes with staff, who they insist on treating as independant contractors, even when that is illegal in that jurisdiction, have been going on since 2009 when it started up and been front page news. As have complaints about price gouging during peak times As has allegations about manipulating data, stealing data from rivals and putting out false data to damage rivals. At the moment Uber staff are suing to get information on the algorithm because they believe to be deceptively biased against them. This has happened in many countries and include the UK suspending their licence.

      And it’s not just Uber it applies to all the ride sharing and delivery businesses. here isn’t a person in the developed world who wouldn’t know it’s an issue. “The corporate direction of the broadcaster” is what all this is about, they want it to be as radically progressive as the rest of the…

      1. I think their point is so as long as you’re getting a big cheque it doesn’t matter if others are being treated badly then? You can’t pick and chose being morally superior if you’ll drop that for a big lump of cash.

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