Melbourne’s 3AW presenter has criticised national broadcaster the ABC for its coverage of King Charles’ coronation which he said “totally misread the mood” and caused people to turn off.
Speaking on his Monday morning radio show, Mitchell said it was inappropriate for ABC to bag the“living daylights out of the monarchy”, by speaking on colonisation and the damage the monarchy had caused Indigenous Australians in the lead-up to the coronation.
As quoted in The Australian, Mitchell said that the panel discussion was “unbalanced’ and that “they had a four-person panel in the lead-up, three of them, Republicans.”
The discussion was led by presenters Jeremy Fernandez and Julia Baird and included guests such as Stan Grant.
“They are talking over this footage of this grand ceremony being prepared, souring the mood, so a lot of people turned off.”
“I really wonder sometimes why we feed these ABC people, I don’t blame the people on air, it’s whomever in management decides, “ah, here’s a good idea, let’s use footage from London while we bag the living daylights out of the monarchy”,” he said.
“Somebody in the ABC needs to be accountable for this, as the national broadcaster it should have been the place you go to see the coverage of the coronation, instead you see all this bitterness about our Indigenous history.”
“To have only one of four panellists as supporters of our existing constitutional arrangements meant there was little opportunity for a panel discussion that reflected the warmth and respect Australians have for King Charles.”
Mitchell said he disagreed with some of Grant’s comments but “Stan has every right to his beliefs” and that “much of the online commentary about Stan has been appalling”.
But he added that Grant’s comments weren’t appropriate during the coronation: “It’s like playing a Benny Hill skit in the middle of the royal funeral, bad feel”.
During the coronation, Stan Grant, a Wiradjuri, Gurrawin and Dharawal man, said the British Empire caused the indigenous people of Australia immense pain – he shared a personal story in which his grandfather was jailed for speaking his own Indigenous language as a young boy.
“This is the real Australia, before we get to the fantasy Australia, the Disneyland Australia, let’s deal with the real Australia,” he said.
“Let’s not imagine that we can just look at this ceremony tonight and see this as something that is distant, that is just ceremonial and doesn’t hold weight.
“It is scars, it is broken bones and it is too many damaged souls and we need to heal.”
Grant is speaking at this year’s Cannes in Cairns, you can buy tickets here.
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