• The panel discussion that Samantha Armytage and Prue MacSween will be sued for racial vilification over. (Twitter / Sunrise)Source: Twitter / Sunrise
Samantha Armytage and Prue MacSween will be sued for racial vilification in the Federal court over a 2018 Sunrise segment, entitled 'Aboriginal adoption', where non-Indigenous panellists discussed child removals in Aboriginal communities.
Keira Jenkins

12 Jun 2020 - 1:19 PM  UPDATED 12 Jun 2020 - 1:19 PM

Channel Seven presenter Samantha Armytage and commentator Prue MacSween will be sued in the Federal Court over a controversial Sunrise segment on Indigenous children in out of home care.

During the 'hot topics' panel on the breakfast television show in 2018, MacSween said of the Stolen Generations, 'we need to do it again'.

Eight complainants, led by Aunty Rhonda Dixon-Grovenor, will now take their case to the Federal court.

"This racism must be called out, there must be zero tolerance, it is not acceptable anymore - especially from a national broadcaster who should know better," Ms Dixon-Grovenor said in a statement.

Ms Dixon-Grovenor also called out ABC's Insider's program for last week featuring three non-Indigenous people discussing 'Indigenous disadvantage'.

But she said, the ABC had 'the humility to acknowledge and apologise' for the lack of Indigenous voices on the panel. This week's episode of the program will feature Dja Dja Wurrung and Yorta Yorta woman Bridget Brennan, who is also an ABC Journalist.

"Sunrise on the other hand, platformed wealthy white women calling for a Stolen Generation 2.0 as a means of salvation for our young people," Ms Dixon-Grovenor said.

"This shameful, profoundly hurtful and devastating display of racism was broadcast by a commercial television station into homes right across Australia; the dignity of all Aboriginal people and children was violated in out very on homes and loungerooms around Australia.

"Channel 7's subsequent disingenuous downcast eyes and 'we're so sorry' murmurs after we protested and their racism was called out, mean nothing to us when they refuse all reasonable requests for proper reparation of the pulverising hurt, humiliation and distress, we feel every single day of our lives."

In a statement on social media Ms Armytage said that she hadn't at any stage in the segment suggested a second Stolen Generation.

"Sunrise ran a follow-up segment involving indigenous [sic] experts," the statement said.

"Sunrise has apologised unreservedly & has generously compensated those people whose blurred images were shown in the segment."

Ms Armytage also said she had received threats over the incident.

"There is no place for racism in our country or in our media or in our hearts," she said.

"There should also be no place for violence of for threats."

The action comes after settlement negotiations in a group Racial Discrimination Complaint filed in the Human Rights Commission in 2018 collapsed.

The segment at the centre of the complaint was found by the Australian Communications and Media Authority to have breached the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice for 'provoking serious contempt on the basis of race'.

The segment was also the subject of a defamation case, which was settled in 2019, with Seven was ordered to pay an undisclosed amount of compensation to Yirrkala Aboriginal community who featured in unrelated file footage played during the segment.

Seven also aired an apology to Yirrkala community members.