‘Today’ Had An All-White Panel Debate Whether It’s Ok To Climb Uluru Because Of Course It Did
"How can this show be called ‘Today’ when it’s clearly representative of the 50s."
Imagine that you’ve been asked to put together a panel discussion on the ethics of climbing Uluru after its Indigenous traditional owners have asked you not to. Who would you choose to sit on that panel? If you’re Today, you apparently opt to invite an all-white panel of Pauline Hanson and Steve Price to share their thoughts, and oh boy are they getting roasted for it.
Pauline Hanson, famously, is the very white leader of One Nation, who recently tried to move a motion in Parliament stating that it’s “okay to be white”. Steve Price, meanwhile, has been known to interrupt Indigenous people mid-sentence to let them know he doesn’t think blackface is racist.
Together, Hanson and Price make up what is possibly the least qualified panel to comment on whether it’s okay to climb Uluru. The fact that Today invited either (let alone both!) of them to share their opinions on the subject is pretty appalling.
The fact that Today didn’t even manage to balance out the panel with a single Indigenous voice is even worse, and people are taking to Twitter to get pretty angry about it.
WHITESPLAINING WITH DEB
Of course featuring a traditional owner to explain why climbing Uluru is disrespectful is no fun when you can have Pauline Hanson & Steve Price flapping on with "their" uncontested version of the truth.
— 💧 Sleeping Giants Oz 📣 (@slpng_giants_oz) July 15, 2019
Hey @TheTodayShow, we’re in the times of widescreen broadcasting nowadays. Surely you could have found more white people to speak on this panel regarding appropriate behaviour on Aboriginal lands. Was Sam Newman busy? https://t.co/RjZ4agay2i
— Celeste Liddle (@Utopiana) July 15, 2019
Trust the @TheTodayShow to have One Nation senator Pauline Hanson on this morning to give her utterly irrelevant take on Uluru, which only comes from a place of racism, fear and ignorance. Do your producers have anybody else's number? Call out if you need help making non-trash TV https://t.co/hoiQVKdsLI
— Jennine Khalik (@jennineak) July 14, 2019
There’s really no need to give Pauline Hanson more of a platform right now, so we’re not going to bother sharing what she had to say. Instead, here’s a friendly reminder about why the Uluru climb is in the news in the first place.
For many years now, the Anangu traditional owners of Uluru and the surrounding area have politely requested that people do not climb Uluru, as it’s a sacred site. The climb is finally set to close for good in October, in accordance with their wishes.
Unfortunately, news that the climb is closing has had a bizarre impact on tourists, inspiring record numbers of people to travel to Uluru and embark on the climb before it’s “too late” (i.e. before they are forced to respect the sacred site instead of just asked politely to please respect it). This massive surge in climbers has led to congestion and big queues at Uluru, which is proving dangerous, environmentally destructive, and just disgusting.
Pauline Hanson: since everybody's been asking, here's my opinion on "Ayers Rock"
— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) July 15, 2019
How can this show be called ‘Today’ when it’s clearly representative of the 50s. https://t.co/qecs9cnZdp
— Jordan Raskopoulos (@JordanRasko) July 15, 2019
According to Pauline Hanson, however, the option of simply not climbing Uluru just doesn’t make sense. “I just don’t get it, I really don’t get it,” she said on Today this morning.
She’s right, and not getting it should have disqualified her from speaking on that panel. Today, what were you thinking?
Today Show producer: Let’s get an expert on Uluru. A traditional owner, Anangu people, what about chairman of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park board….
Producer 2: How about Pauline Hanson and Steve Price
— Belinda Barnet (@manjusrii) July 15, 2019