Stan Grant Steps Away From The ABC After A Lack Of Public Support From Executives
"I am writing this because no one at the ABC.... has uttered one word of public support. Not one ABC executive has publicly refuted the lies written or spoken about me. I don't hold any individual responsible; this is an institutional failure."
In a column published this afternoon, First Nations journalist Stan Grant says he is walking away from the ABC citing a failure of the broadcaster to publicly support him amid a maelstrom of racist abuse.
The seasoned broadcaster contributed to the ABC’s recent coronation coverage, where he pointed out that the Crown wasn’t a particularly great thing for Indigenous people, given that it represents the invasion of Indigenous land, massacres against Indigenous people, and many stolen generations.
Of course, that’s not the offensive thing — the offensive thing is that this was being said during the coronation of his Majesty King Charles III, who memorably once lost his temper at a leaking pen.
While Grant and his family deal with racial abuse on a daily basis, his comments at the coronation ramped things up — as the broadcaster questioned whether the monarchy is actually still relevant to Australia in 2023.
For some monarchists, this was apparently too much to bear — with thousands complaining that the ABC breached its editorial standards with its “imposing” and “hostile” coverage.
In the column, Grant says: “I am writing this because no one at the ABC — whose producers invited me onto their coronation coverage as a guest — has uttered one word of public support. Not one ABC executive has publicly refuted the lies written or spoken about me. I don’t hold any individual responsible; this is an institutional failure.”
He adds that Justin Stevens, ABC’s Director of News, has offered him support and comfort and is trying to “change an organisation that has its own legacy of racism”. A statement written by Stevens published about an hour before Grant’s piece went live in which he condemns the racism directed against Grant is also floating around. And the ABC did, earlier this year, complain to Twitter about the vitriol against him on the platform.
But Grant says that after hosting his final episode of Q&A on Monday, he will walk away. “I take time out because we have shown again that our history — our hard truth — is too big, too fragile, too precious for the media,” he writes. “The media sees only battle lines, not bridges. It sees only politics.”
“This is the last column I will write for the ABC for a while,” he notes. “On Monday night I will present my Q&A program, then walk away. For how long? I don’t know.”