We may be known for being a multicultural bunch in Australia, but when it comes to showcasing that diversity, we’ve still got a heck of a way to go.
Image: Channel 10/Tenplay
There’s been a lot of talk about the new program on Channel Ten, I’m a Celebrity Get Me Outta Here, lately. Mostly because a group of Australian and international personalities, including Marcia from The Brady Bunch, are left to fend for themselves in the South African jungle, without a speck of makeup or a spray tan in sight.
They live in close quarters, have to go through squirm-worthy challenges to earn their dinner and sleep in nothing but a sleeping bag in the open air. Watching a group of celebrities reach new levels of discomfort makes for good television, but there’s one big issue that has come to light: Each and every one of the celebrities is white.
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Radio personality and former The Circle cohost, Yumi Stynes, took to Twitter to air her disbelief about the lack of diversity on the show.
“Loving @joelcreasey and of course @ChrissieSwan but there are other races in Oz!” Stynes wrote, adding, “I’ve never watched Brady Bunch. Too white. #ImaWhiteCelebAU.”
Movie critic, Marc Fennell, joined the conversation on Twitter. “And people tell me there’s no diversity problem on Australian tv (sic),” he said.
“In general there is a problem in Australian TV,” Fennell told the Daily Mail. “Reality TV often leads the way, if you look at MasterChef, X Factor, The Voice, those shows are really good… the big event shows people watch in general are getting a lot better… I wish they’d been able to do this on this show,” Fennell said.
Where are the indigenous Australians on the show? If one of Australia’s longest-running programs, Neighbours, is anything to go by, we might be waiting a long time for an indigenous star on the show. It just took 30 years for the soapie to include an Aboriginal main character on Ramsay Street. You don’t have to look far to notice the lack of diversity, though. Our morning shows, news programs, our panel shows — they couldn’t be whiter than a loaf of bread.
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Morning show host, Karl Stefanovic, last year spoke to NITV, saying there needs to be more diversity on Australian television because the white faces, views and accents are getting tired.
“I do believe that there should be more [indigenous] faces. I think that fundamentally, white people are pretty bland… they’re pretty beige… and the more difference you have in colour, in accent, in race, in humour, in belief, I think the richer you are,” he said.
By the looks of things, men and women of colour have basically been rendered insignificant, unworthy and invisible on Australian TV.
What do you think? Does Australian television lack diversity?
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