A decision by Triple J to move its annual Hottest 100 countdown away from Australia Day announced yesterday has been met with mixed reactions.
While many praised the move including well known Indigenous artists, there was condemnation from others like Communications Minister Mitch Fifield.
Yesterday Triple J announced in a media release that the date of the countdown would move in 2018 to make it an event that all Australians would feel comfortable celebrating.
"It should be an event that everyone can enjoy together – for both the musicians whose songs make it in and for everyone listening in Australia and around the world. This is really important to us," the statement said.
The current date of January 26 is considered offensive by many and has sat increasingly uncomfortably with Triple J's audience, who often champion Indigenous music and identity.
The station held a survey which drew 65,000 participants, with 60 per cent saying they wanted the Hottest 100 removed from Australia Day.
Indigenous artists, many of whom appear in the popularly voted Hot 100 list have reacted positively to the news. Artist Briggs was among the first to respond online.
However it wasn't long before he was seeing criticism online from those opposed to the moving of the countdown.
Musician Dan Sultan also praised the announcement.
"To have it on a day that essentially celebrates genocide is disgusting and it's embarrassing," he told the ABC.
Triple J said yesterday in a statement that: "Over the past 12 months, we’ve been speaking to heaps of different people who would be affected by this decision, including musicians, community leaders, representative groups, Triple J staff, ABC groups, and a wide range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander media, language groups, and many of the Indigenous artists featured on Triple J".
Earlier this year some of Australia’s best hip hop artists came together with NITV's support, including Elefant Traks and Bad Apples, to produce an original song ‘Change the Date’, and an accompanying 360 degree VR experience.
Hashtags calling for a change of date for Australia Day have grown exponentially in the last few years, with #ChangeTheDate doubling since 2016, and others such as #InvasionDay and #SurvivalDay growing by 200 per cent in the last couple of years.
This morning Communications Minister Mitch Fifield labelled Triple J's decision to move the Hottest 100 as "dumb" and asked the public broadcaster to reconsider.
"Sometimes, as a minister, you slap your forehead and say to yourself, 'What were these guys thinking?' This is just a really bad idea; it's a dumb idea and Triple J should change their minds," he said in an interview on ABC Radio this morning.
He added that he would be asking the ABC's board to reconsider the decision.