Following ABC’s Upfronts on Wednesday, the public broadcaster has found itself in hot water over the lack of diversity of its 2021 presenters.
The ABC unveiled its 2021 content schedule and its news and flagship programs presenters, with most hosts appearing to be from caucasian backgrounds.
Insiders, 7.30, ABC News Breakfast and The Drum were among the shows with white presenters.
Sophie McNeill, former ABC News reporter tweeted a collage of the broadcaster’s presenters, calling out the ABC for its lack of diversity.
It's disappointing that my beloved @abcnews & @ABCTV has still such a long way to go to ensure the network accurately reflects the Australian population #diversity #whatdiversity pic.twitter.com/xvjxCfSOcr
— Sophie McNeill (@Sophiemcneill) November 25, 2020
Meanwhile, former deputy editor of ABC Life Osman Faruqi also expressed his disappointment, asking if the ABC knew how “weird” the all-white line-up looked.
Do the people who run ABC News not understand how weird this looks? (Photos from the organisation’s upfronts today). pic.twitter.com/L2E7E96qdk
— Osman Faruqi (@oz_f) November 25, 2020
Responding to the backlash, the ABC took to Twitter with a different collage of some of its presenters, saying it is “proud” of its diverse talent.
— ABC Communications (@ABCMediaComms) November 25, 2020
However, Faruqi and McNeill said the issue remained that there was still a lack of representation in the ABC’s flagship programs.
“There is a significant gap between what appears to be coming of factual and entertainment TV and news in terms of whiteness, but it’s very funny the ABC is responding to concerns about the lack of diversity on news shows by saying “We also make Superwog!” Faruqi posted on Twitter.
An ABC spokesperson said: “Our 2021 slate reflects our commitment to representing and reflecting modern Australia, across diverse backgrounds, ages, genders, abilities and cultures.
“There’s no doubt that, like all media organisations, the ABC has significant work to do to live up to our goal to reflect the full diversity of our community,” the ABC said.
“But we are making progress.”
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