Princess Pictures withdraws from SBS project

"We have made this decision out of our deepest respect for the culturally diverse communities," says production company.

Princess Pictures recently announced it was withdrawing from a planned project around migrants for SBS after a petition accused it of making “culturally harmful” work.

The petition fiercely criticised the work of comedian Chris Lilley, whose work, including the Tongan-Australian character, Jonah, “perpetuated racial violence,” with over 2400 signatures received.

In a Facebook post Laura Waters, founder of the company, noted she had done an enormous amount of listening, learning and reflection.

“I have come to understand the suffering that has been caused by some of the programs I have produced. I have not spoken out earlier as my words and feelings have felt a distraction at a time when it was imperative for others to finally have a voice,” she wrote.

“I accept full responsibility and I deeply apologise for that, and to anyone who has been harmed by my silence to date.

“As a production company with global reach, the team at Princess Pictures feel the responsibility more than ever of supporting under-represented creatives to ensure their voices are heard on our screens. In order to fulfill this responsibility in a culturally responsible way, we have sought to change the way that frequently biased internal power structures work and have sought extensive counsel on how best to achieve this.”

Princess Pictures has produced a range of popular titles, particularly in comedy including Chris Lilley projects, How to Stay Married, Superwog, Outland, Open Slather, It’s a Date plus dramas  The Divorce , Wrong Kind of Black and  doco John Safran’s Race Relations.

A further Facebook post announced, “Princess Pictures has decided to respectfully withdraw as production company from the project we were developing with SBS. We have made this decision out of our deepest respect for the culturally diverse communities. We will continue to listen and learn.”

Source: Facebook, The Age

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