ABC staff have staged a walkout in support of well-known Aboriginal journalist Stan Grant who stepped down as Q+A host on Friday citing exhaustion from racial abuse and frustration that network executives had not stood up for him.
The Q+A presenter will host the program on Monday night before he takes time out for an unspecified time period.
Grant was invited to report on King Charles III’s coronation earlier this month and provided a First Nations perspective on the crown, saying that it represents the invasion and theft of Aboriginal land. This sparked a wave of online criticism attacking Grant.
After claims that ABC executives did not publicly defend Grant, many of his colleagues on Monday are showing their support.
Dozens of employees have gathered in front of the broadcaster’s Sydney headquarters at Ultimo, outside Parliament House at Canberra and outside the Melbourne headquarters. Video footage shows staff members standing outside of the ABC’s office at Southbank holding signs reading “#IStandWithStan” and “#WeRejectRacism”.
ABC Arts Editor Dee Jefferson joined the staged walkout. “Stan’s experience of racist abuse is shared by so many colleagues. Listening is the smallest part of what we can do to help clean up this mess,” she posted on Twitter.
ABC host Patricia Karvelas also tweeted on Monday afternoon in support. Federal political reporter Dana Morse wrote: “Enough is enough”. Other reporters threw in their support, including Triple J Hack reporter Kimberly Price and reporter Casey Briggs.
Members of Grant’s family also attended the Sydney protest and thanked the crowd for their support.
ABC boss apologises after Grant quits Q&A
ABC managing director David Anderson has since apologised to the journalist after he announced he would step away from his role as host of the Q&A program.
“Stan has our full support. And he has always had our full support,” Mr Anderson wrote in an email to ABC staff. “Stan makes an enormous contribution to conversations of national importance.”
Earlier on Monday, Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers condemned the racial abuse and relentless trolling that led Grant to quit. Dr Chalmers said he was saddened to learn the Indigenous journalist had been forced out after a torrent of abuse.
“It’s a really sad situation,” Dr Chalmers told ABC TV. “I have come to know Stan a bit from being on his Q+A show and I respect him and I think it’s really sad and really unfortunate that the trolls and the keyboard warriors are silencing a really important voice in our community.”
with NCA NewsWire and AAP
Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@Englishheadlinenews.com.
You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.