ABC questioned on diversity.. but wait there’s more…

ABC has copped some criticism for an Upfronts slate yesterday that was apparently lacking diversity.

On social media even ex-Foreign Correspondent reporter Sophie McNeill drew attention to an image that was circulating. That has since led to media reports on the issue.

Overlooking the point that even this image includes gay and senior presenters (diversity is not just race based), ABC’s social team did not assemble this grid as it appeared.

They tweeted them as individual shows with the hashtag #ABCyours.

They also tweeted plenty of other shows with racial diversity in drama, entertainment, doco, childrens and news. Somehow the commentary has largely overlooked this.

Of course, when Michell Guthrie was managing director (for 15 minutes), she did acknowledge ABC needed to do more work on diversity on some of its flagship shows.

Yesterday ABC itself reiterated that in a fairly restrained response.

As TV Tonight reported yesterday there were a string of shows yesterday which did indeed highlight racial diversity anyway….

Here’s a snapshot of photos ABC supplied ahead of Upfronts.

11 Comments:

  1. Very unfair for the Twitter mob to come after the ABC. They have a very talented and diverse mix of presenters across a broad spectrum of programs. It’s by no means a boys club of “straight white dudes”.

    And in regards to just one aspect of Sophie’s original tweet, Hard Quiz has frequently had contestants with disabilities on the program, but has never once made a big deal out of it. Just one of the many ways representation goes beyond the gender and skin colour of the program host.

    • Completely agree, the current generation will be punished for the sins of the past. Recruiting people based on race, sex, etc. is only going to cause similar issues to happen again in the future.

      The ABC actually has too much of a diversity focus, just look at the current guidelines for children’s programming for example, at kidscreen.com/global-pitch/abc-australia/

  2. I think McNeill’s point is well made. Pretty much all of the flagship mainstream shows (Those at UpFronts) are hosted by WASPs. And no a “quirky” Asian food show called ‘Chopsticks or Fork?’ does not count. Jeremy Fernandez hosting 730 Report would.

    • We’re judging presenters by their race and religion now? Really?
      How do we know the religion of those presenters, by the way?

      Is the suggestion that some of those presenters be sacked on the basis of their skin colour and replace them by people based on their skin colour?

      • It doesn’t matter in the Woke New World if your good at your job, so long as you tick the boxes. So yes, they are judging presenters on race and religion.

      • Yes and while I strongly believe in advancing the interests of indigenous people and rejecting discrimination in society I feel the way we are judging individual ABC presenters by their skin colour just cheapens the whole thing

    • I feel like she’s cherrypicked to publicity shots of main news programs to make her point, when they are only a fraction of the ABC News editorial team. Where are the stats on the number of non-White journalists who have graduated and are looking for work?

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