‘Cowards’: The protest Sunrise didn't want you to see
SUNRISE was the scene of a massive protest this morning, but the show seemingly went to extraordinary lengths not to let their audience know about it.
A crowd of hundreds packed Martin Place, which forms the backdrop of the breakfast TV show, demonstrating the show's decision earlier in the week to discuss Aboriginal adoption on a Hot Topic segment which they said had spiralled into "blatant racism".
But as the crowd - and volume level - grew, producers closed soundproof blinds in the studio, and broadcast old overlay of the show's Martin Place backdrop behind the hosts.
It wasn't lost on some viewers.
"Turned the TV on to watch the protest outside Sunrise this morning. Conveniently they have blocked the windows. F***ing cowards," wrote one Twitter user.
Meanwhile, police monitored the crowd of demonstrators who were bearing signs which included "Sunlies".
Posts from Sunrise's own Twitter feed show host Samantha Armytage presenting against a Martin Place background with no evidence of a demonstration from 6.50am to 7.23am, as the protest unfolded.
As the Cash Cow segment played out, Sunrise tweeted a GIF of the hosts, again with a background of Martin Place, again with no crowds visible.
The vocal mob could be heard from blocks away, at one point banging on the glass window of the studio overlooking Martin Place.
Videos on social media showed protesters striking their hands against the windows of the studio while chanting "Leave the kids alone" and "Always was, always will be Aboriginal land".
At midday Friday, Channel Seven issued a statement on why the protest had been blocked from broadcast and a "generic" backdrop was used.
"We respect the right to protest as much as we respect the right of free speech," A Channel Seven spokesman said.
"Some of the group were holding offensive signage, and some began banging on the window and mouthing obscenities.
"To ensure regulatory compliance, and bearing in mind the potential for young children to be watching, the decision was made to utilise a generic backdrop."
On the show's Facebook page, there was no mention from Sunrise of the protest, but viewers were commenting anyway.
"Just because you censor it doesn't make it not happen, Sunrise," was one comment on the show's post about a story on The Queen.
Protestors bang on the glass windows of Channel 7 headquarters where Sunrise program is taking place. Shortly before, producers closed the black curtains and blocked protestors from being seen on the live program. @sunriseon7 #ourkidsbelongwithfamily pic.twitter.com/mV5ZGi2cdm— Sebastian Reategui (@spebz) March 15, 2018
The protesters were furious on two levels - that Tuesday's discussion panel featured not a single Aboriginal voice, and with specific comments from Sunrise co-host Samantha Armytage and panel member Prue MacSween.
Anger boiled over earlier in the wake of the controversial chat about Children and Families Minister David Gillespie's proposal for "open adoption" for indigenous children to save them from rape, assault and neglect.
Currently, they are supposed to be placed with relatives or indigenous families where possible, and with families of other ethnicities if a suitable indigenous family is not found.
Armytage said: "Post-Stolen Generation, there's been a huge move to leave Aboriginal children where they are, even if they're being neglected in their own families."
She incorrectly claimed indigenous children could not be fostered by white families.
Ms MacSween said removing the kids was a "no-brainer" and that there was a "conspiracy of silence and fabricated PC outlook that it's better to leave them in this dangerous environment".
"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, perhaps," she said.
Armytage wrapped up the segment by saying: "Let's hope some sense prevails there."