They claim to be “Australia’s most popular breakky show”, however, Sunrise is once again under fire by Indigenous Australians for the lack of Aboriginal voices on the morning show.
Early on Tuesday, comments supposedly made by the Assistant Minister for Children and Families, David Gillespie, ignited a media storm and caused outrage from the Indigenous community.
Sunrise's segment followed a Courier Mail headline claiming Mr Gillespie wanted to let ‘white families’ adopt Aboriginal child abuse victims. But Mr Gillespie told SBS News he wanted adoptions to be more common for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous children.
“I’ve never looked at life through the prism of race or culture,” he said.
During the breakfast show's daily segment called ‘Hot Topic’ the program’s host, Samantha Armytage introduced this morning’s two social commentators who both are non-Indigenous.
Prue MacSween is a former journalist who worked as an editor at TV Week and claims she’s a commentator who “never shies away from saying what others are too scared to say”.
Ben Davis is a former Channel 7 sports presenter and is currently the host of Brisbane 4BC’s radio drive show.
Ms Armytage introduced the segment with an inaccurate and misleading statement: "A federal government minister has suggested white families be allowed to adopt abused Aboriginal children to save them from rape, assault and neglect," she said.
"Currently, they can only be placed with relatives or other Indigenous families, but Children’s Minister, David Gillespie, says relaxing the rules is a better alternative to creating an abandoned or damaged generation."
During the discussion, Sam asked both commentators “should white families be allowed to adopt at-risk Aboriginal children?”
Prue began the discussion by saying it was a “no-brainer” for Aboriginal children to be removed.
She said Australia shouldn’t be scared by political correctness and it’s better to remove them from a “dangerous situation”.
“Just like the first Stolen Generation where a lot of children were taken because it was for their well-being, we need to do it again,” she said.
Many Indigenous Australians remember the Stolen Generations as a traumatic time and a dark chapter in Australian history.
Between 1905 and 1969, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were forcibly removed from their parents in an act many Indigenous people view as the government trying to “whitewash” them.
Seven’s former employee, Ben Davis also agreed with Prue and applauded the comments made by David Gillespie.
“Good on David Gillespie for standing up and saying what a lot of politicians are afraid to say because of the fear of being labelled ‘racist’. I mean, it’s political correct nonsense, it’s gotta go,” he said.
He also said he values the comments made by Warren Mundine.
“We need to be protecting kids, we need to be protecting Aboriginal kids, and putting them back into that culture. What culture are they growing up and seeing? Well, they’re getting abused, they’re getting hurt, and they’re getting damaged,” Davis continued.
Social media has been in overdrive with many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander users outraged over Sunrise’s lack of Indigenous voice.
The "Aboriginal child placement principle" is written into law in every state and territory.
It is a policy which grew from grassroots community movement with hopes of abolishing the harsh practices and policies of forced removal.
The fundamental goal of the principle is to enhance and preserve Aboriginal children's connection to family and community and sense of identity and culture.
Although the Aboriginal child placement principle is written into law, only 35 per cent of Indigenous children, who are in out-of-home care, are placed with Indigenous relatives.
This isn't the first time Seven's breakfast show has been called out.
In August last year, Sunrise had an all-white panel discussing the vandalism of Australian monuments.
In December, they debated if Australia was 'a nation of racists' after the United Nations reported racism in Australia was on the rise.
And just recently, in February the breakfast show discussed if the Aboriginal flag should be flown on the Sydney Harbour Bridge throughout the year- with an all non-Indigenous panel.