Following on from yesterday’s revelations on B&T that SBS was secretly filming its new series of Struggle Street in the Brisbane suburb of Inala despite being banned from doing so, comes revelations that producers knew and encouraged participants in last year’s series to use the drug ice.
Two participants in last year’s episode has told News.com.au that SBS producers paid for things like food and phones which enabled them to buy methamphetamines with their Centrelink money.
“Ice is bad shit man,” said one of the show’s participants Bob Quinn said. “That time when I wouldn’t come to the door, I was pretty out of it that day.”
Added Billie Jo Wilkie: “SBS gave us a card to put Macca’s on and our phones and that so, yeah, we were buying ice. It was disgusting. We were given money and taken out to do drug deals. They (the show’s producers) took us out to get on. It was shit.”
Wilkie, who just spent 13 months in jail for driving offences, claimed she was “tricked” by the show’s producers and her notoriety from it had made her life hell.
However, SBS has completely rejected the claim, saying in a statement: “Struggle Street is a challenging but important observational documentary series which allows individuals and communities the opportunity to share their stories. The first series was broadly acknowledged as having a significant impact on the national conversation about social disadvantage, and the support needed to address the complex issues of poverty and hardship in Australia today.
“Struggle Street was made with rigorous documentary production protocols and standards, and we continue to stand by the integrity of the series. As with all productions, duty of care to participants is paramount, and clear and informed consent obtained. Any claims that SBS was involved in alleged criminal activity are absolutely untrue.”