Indigenous leader Noel Pearson has not held back on his views of the ABC, labelling the public broadcaster as “miserable”, “racist” and a perpetrator of the “soft bigotry of low expectations”.
Speaking at a book launch for former Prime Minister Paul Keating yesterday, the controversial indigenous leader suggested the ABC delighted in seeing Aboriginal people fail.
“Not the least the country’s miserable, racist national broadcaster: a spittoon’s worth of perverse people willing the wretched to fail,” he said in a scathing rebuke.
“They need blacks to remain aliened from mothers’ bosoms, incarcerated in legions, leading short lives of grief and tribulation – because if it were not so, against whom could they direct their soft bigotry of low expectations?”
“About whom could they report of misery and bleeding tragedy?” Pearson then went on to savage federal ministers, government bureaucrats, and “provincial apparatchiks”who he believed regularly went out of their way to destroy promising reforms for Aboriginal people.
However, the ABC has outright rejected Pearson’s claims. In a statement today, the broadcaster said it was the most indigenous-friendly media organisation in Australia and had more indigenous staff and programming than any other broadcaster.
You can read the full ABC statement here.
The statement read: “With its 60 locations across Australia, the ABC covers the everyday experiences of Indigenous communities and provides a range of programs to give voices to Indigenous Australians and to showcase their achievements,” the statement said.
“The ABC has also been at the forefront in recognising Indigenous talent. ABC Radio, ABC TV and ABC News have set up Indigenous units to better reflect Indigenous culture in staffing and in story-telling.
“These initiatives have delivered programs, including the award-winning series Redfern Now and Gods of Wheat Street and the recent hiring of journalist Stan Grant, whom Mr Pearson has described as ‘speaking for black Australia’.”