Culture

‘Sunrise’ Tried To Address An Aboriginal Protest Happening Behind Them, And Fuck Was It Awkward

Can we just cancel Sunrise already?

A month after they were savaged for a woefully tone-deaf segment in which they seemingly called for a return to policies that led to the Stolen Generations, Sunrise has again been targeted by Aboriginal protesters, this time during a broadcast from the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

Co-hosts Samantha Armytage and David Koch were live on the air when more than 40 protesters gathered behind them, waving placards and flags and chanting “always was, always will be Aboriginal land”.

And unlike last time, the producers weren’t able to erase them.

Eventually Armytage and Koch were forced to address the disruption — and honestly, it was just the most cringeworthy thing.

“As you can see we’ve been joined by some Aboriginal protesters here, who have been protesting Commonwealth Games sights, protesting land rights and genocide and, ah, being quite noisy,” said Koch.

“Some of the language leaves a lot to be desired, and I grew up in the sheep yard,” added Armytage. “So we’re trying to block out some of the more angry and nasty and vile bits of this.”

But the pair hastened to add that they respected everyone’s right to protest. In fact, they probably said it about a dozen times.

“We try and bring you the best of the Commonwealth Games, and the best does include protests as well,” said Koch. “But it shouldn’t overshadow all the great things that have been happening at the Commonwealth Games from all cultures.”

Koch also said the Games had been “very respectful” and “very dignified” in their treatment of Aboriginal culture. Armytage, meanwhile, pointed to the “wonderful opening ceremony that showcased our very proud and wonderful Aboriginal history”.

For what it’s worth, a number of Indigenous Australian’s were critical of the opening ceremony — particularly given that protesters were being arrested outside the venue even as the ceremony was taking place.

But perhaps the most uncomfortable part was that Armytage kept bringing up the segment that got the show in trouble in the first place.

“There’s a lot of people writing to me on Twitter this morning saying ‘this is actually not about Sunrise, or anything else’,” she said. “This is about kids. This originally was about kids. And who in their right mind would not want to protect children.”

Sam, mate. Read the fucking room.

Speaking to news.com.au, one of the protesters said the demonstration “wasn’t about” Sunrise. 

“This is about us using the Games as a platform to remind everyone that they’re here on stolen ground, off the backs of colonisation,” she said.