Around one hundred protesters successfully hijacked Channel 7’s Sunrise during their live Commonwealth Game broadcast on the Gold Coast this morning.
The group have been protesting Australia's treatment of Indigenous people at a series of events over the last week and are calling the games the "Stolenwealth Games".
Chanting “Shame on Sunrise”, “they say justice, we say murder” and “always was, always will be Aboriginal land” the protesters did not back down.
Hosts Samantha Armytage and David ‘Kochie’ Koch both seemed confused over what the groups were protesting.
“It does appear Kochie to be a land rights protest,” Armytage said.
With the chants getting louder and louder, the Sunrise hosts were unable to be heard at one point.
The two hosts said they “respect” the protesters right to protest but claimed some parts of the takeover were “angry, nasty and vile”, and that they needed to shelter their audience from the language which was being used.
“Some of the language leaves a lot to be desired and I grew up in a sheep yard,” Armytage said.
The breakfast duo then went back and forth and said Aboriginal culture is Australian culture and the theme at the Commonwealth Games has been “respectful and dignified” towards Aboriginal culture.
Armytage seemed to think it was about her and a controversial segment last month in which she made false claims about Indigenous adoptions. The segment is now under investigation by the broadcast regulator ACMA.
Sunrise compounded the damage from the segment when a week later the show closed the studio blinds and ran old background footage behind a live broadcast to hide protesters outside the windows of its Sydney Studio in an attempt to pretend the protest was not happening.
Koch claimed the breakfast show is a supporter of Aboriginal people and the Aboriginal community.
“That’s one of the things that’s annoying about this because privately we are involved in a lot of Aboriginal community programs that we support,” he said.
'It’s not about Sunrise'
Ruby Wharton, who is one of the leaders of the Stolenwealth movement, told NITV News, she is protesting the Commonwealth Games to bring awareness to Indigenous issues.
“I just want them to take away that they don’t actually know what’s actually happening in this world,” she said.
“They’re not engaging, they can’t know what we feel, they can’t know how we live, they don’t see it on a daily basis - they’re not confronted with it.
“We just want to open that possibility, that doorway to education.”
Allegedly Koch turned to the protesters and told them to do their homework.
The long time Sunrise host commented on Sunrise’s “balanced” reporting on all issues.
However just last month the breakfast TV show incorrectly reported on Aboriginal adoptions with an all white panel with no expertise in the area.
"Currently, they (Indigenous at-risk children) can only be placed with relatives or other Indigenous families,” Armytage incorrectly claimed last month during the segment.
Sunrise has not apologised since the comments.
However the show did end up having an all Indigenous panel re-discuss the issue with more depth and more facts than the original segment.
Sunrise is currently under investigation by the Australian Communications and Media Authority for a possible breach in the commercial TV code of practice over the segment