• Protesters rally outside Channel 7 studios Sydney to protest against Channel 7 breakfast show "Sunrise" Aboriginal adoption segment. (Crowdspark)Source: Crowdspark
Community members have slammed an apology aired by Channel Seven for their controversial 2018 segment which discussed Indigenous adoption.
Keira Jenkins

4 Jan 2021 - 5:03 PM  UPDATED 4 Jan 2021 - 5:45 PM

An early morning apology from Sunrise for their controversial 'Indigenous adoptions' panel has left some community members 'disgusted'.

The now infamous segment, which aired in March 2018, saw a non-Indigenous panel discuss whether Aboriginal children should be adopted by white families, with one commentator suggesting the Stolen Generations were for their 'own wellbeing'.

Just before 7am on Monday morning, a voice over apology aired on the breakfast program.

"On 13 March we aired a segment about alleged child abuse and neglect in Aboriginal communities and statements made by the Assistant Minister for Children and Families about white people adopting Aboriginal children," it read.

"Opinions were expressed during the segment which referred to the stolen generation [sic] and which were offensive to some viewers, including Indigenous Australians.

"Channel Seven, the Sunrise team and our commentators Prue MacSween and Ben Davis apologise for those comments and the harm they have caused."

'Try some sincerity'

Family Matters Co-Chair Sue-Anne Hunter told NITV News she didn't see the pre-recorded apology as 'authentic'.

"I don't know how you can make those comments and then think that an autocue voice is going to be okay for people who have been hurt so deeply," the Wurudndjeri and Ngurai illum wurrung woman said.

"It has affected their lives and the lives of their children."

SNAICC CEO Richard Weston said the comments that were made were "ill-informed" and "unworthy of any Australian media outlet".

"It is an accepted fact that the impact of tearing children from their families and communities has caused profound hurt and trauma for our Stolen Generations, and that impact is intergenerational.

"The history is no longer contested ground."

Some took to social media to express their disappointment with the apology.



Waverly Greens Councillor Dominic Wy Kanak called for the apology to be re-issued, with steps taken to make it more sincere.

"I thought it was trite and I felt disgusted at how it came across on such a sensitive issue for our people and for Australia," he said.

Sunrise issued a similar apology last year to Yirrkala community in the Northern Territory, who featured in blurred footage played during the discussion.

The footage was originally filmed for a health promotion in Yirrkala.

A group of 15 members of that community filed a defamation lawsuit over the segment, which was settled in December 2019.

In 2018 the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) found the segment was inaccurate and provoked racial contempt.

Sunrise has been approached for comment.

Samantha Armytage, Prue MacSween to be sued for racial vilification over Sunrise segment
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.