ABC apologises over edited video of dance troupe

ABC has apologised following criticism of misleading editing of a dance troupe on social media.

ABC News’ original social media video about the Royal Australian Navy’s launch event for HMAS Supply on the weekend featured a performance by dance group 101 Doll Squadron. The performance include ‘twerking’ as part of their routine.

ABC has issued a statement apologising for cut-away shots suggesting Governor-General David Hurley, the Chief of Navy and the Chief of Defence watching with stony faces.

“This was incorrect. While the Chief of Defence was present, the Governor-General and the Chief of Navy in fact arrived after the performance,” ABC said in a statement.

“Our reporting team initially believed they were present both because they were shown in footage of the event and because a Government MP had said that they were present.

“The video should not have been edited in that way and the ABC apologises to the Governor-General and the Chief of Navy, and to viewers, for this error.”

The report that went to air on ABC’s 7pm News bulletin on Wednesday night did not include the footage. It said its online story has also been updated to make this clear.

“The performance occurred before the Governor-General arrived,” a statement from Mr Hurley’s office said.

“The presentation of the video to suggest otherwise was disappointing.”

PM Scott Morrison also said he was ‘“disappointed” in the way the ABC reported on the event.

101 Doll Squadron also issued a statement blasting ABC.

“We are very disappointed at the ABC’s deceptive editing of their video piece which cut to guests and dignitaries who were not in attendance, and shot from angles which could not be seen by the audience,” they said.

“We are very disappointed at the ABC’s deceptive editing of their video piece which cut to guests and dignitaries who were not in attendance and shooting from angles which could not be seen by the audience.
“We found this very creepy and reflects more on the ABC’s camera operator and their need to sexualise these women and their dance piece for their own gratification.”

Their statement also condemned what they believed was the ABC’s “need to sexualise these women and their dance piece”.

“These are the images appearing in the media and the ABC have a lot to answer for in making us feel threatened and exploited.”

101 Dance Squadron said of their choreography, “It was meant to bring an informal sense of celebration; a gift from one of our community groups to open a modern ship, with a modern dance form.”

The troupe has since deleted their Facebook page and made their Instagram account private.

Source: Guardian Australia


  1. A film clip of a bunch of pretty girls dancing to celebrate the launch of a Naval Supply ship was bound to offend some people and do wonders for Naval recruitment.

  2. thedirtydigger

    Come on , who in Navy Events or PR or whatever they are called will put their hand up on this one ? And who in Navy Brass will admit OKaying the entertainment rundown ? Probably just in the official programme as a ” dance performance” …anyway where was ‘In The Navy’ by the Village People when you need them ?

  3. Stopped watching ABC news a while ago. Their reporting started to move more towards opinion/explainers and their main bulletin became infested with pointless live crosses. Hence not a lot of difference to commercial MSM.
    This editing example is so far off beam it shows how out of control Newscaff has become, leaderless almost.
    Actually not worth 8c per day now, sadly.

    • I hope it is the last time. If anyone does anything underhanded, there’s the chance that they will be caught out. They should learn their lesson because more people are aware now. I don’t think the editors realised how meticulous dance groups can be about their performances and portrayals.

  4. It’s very disappointing from the ABC. It’s like the gutter tabloid editing or something reminiscent of The Simpsons episode where Homer’s interview on gummy Venus De Milo on the fictional show Rock Bottom was edited to misrepresent.

    ABC were also caught out with deception and misrepresentation of context on the aged care royal commission press conference making it appear as though the PM abruptly ended the press conference and walked off making it appear he was unhappy with the question asked. He continued answering the question and 25 more questions. It’s not the first time ABC has done this. There was analysis by journalists Chris Kenny and Rebecca Weisser on that editing and misrepresentation incident. At the time the word I thought was disturbing so I can understand the “creepy” comment from the dance group about the editing. I’ve seen The Project do deceptive editing as…

    • Yes, I remember seeing that press conference and the way it was slanted later that night. News media seems to have lost its objectivity in the last decade.

  5. This is just shocking the whole thing. Whoever thought this was a good idea wow… LOL “informal sense of celebration” made me laugh. How can anyone think that dancing is a good idea infront of the Navy in this day and age.

  6. I normally stand up for the ABC but of late their news coverage and mistakes or bias they keep making is getting tiring..

    Either improve your quality of news coverage and balance or get out of providing news services.. stick to kids and adult entertainment.

    I bet Sky will be talking about this all night tonight as story has changed from what they criticised the military organisers last night

  7. while the PM is bashing the ABC has he seen what the Daily Telegraph did to cover this event? I reckon that’s far worse than anything the ABC did. I bet there’ll be silence from the PM on that.

    • He has every right to bash the abc, they are the public broadcaster, and are funded by our taxes. You maybe happy for them to manipulate a story so the establishment look stupid, but I don’t want my tax dollars spent pushing an agenda

      • I’m not defending the ABC though I don’t think their treatment made the establishment look stupid, as you say. I’m just saying their take on the event was not the worst out there. Given there is such a major conversation going on in mainstream Australia about respect for women, I think the Daily Telegraph’s reporting of the dance routine, which was terribly sexist and demeaning towards the performers, should be far more concerning.

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