Australia’s favourite couch-bound critics, the Goggleboxers, tuned into SBS this week to watch Apex Gang: Behind The Headlines. Watching them watching us, it was fascinating to see them react to the documentary, and what it had to say about contentious media depictions of Australia’s South Sudanese community by association.
Apex Gang: Behind The Headlines profiles Melbourne’s South Sudanese community and its struggle for acceptance, which many feel has been hampered by negative media coverage that amplifies incidents of unrest and criminal activity by one group of youths, the Apex Gang.
When the Gogglebox segment about the program starts and the Apex Gang is first referenced, it’s clear the Goggleboxers already know them by reputation; Tom (of the household of #wayneandtom) declares, “Oh, I’m scared of them”, and Holly (youngest member of #thedaltons) knows them to be car-jackers. By the end of the segment, their comments demonstrate a willingness to go literally beyond the headlines, and see the reportage of the Apex Gang’s activities as a far more complex issue.
This week’s episode of Gogglebox airs on Network Ten tonight (8.30pm, 9 November) and you can stream the SBS original documentary Apex Gang: Behind The Headlines now at SBS On Demand.