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‘Violent illness’: Thorpe backs Stan on racism

ABC host Stan Grant has quit after receiving racial abuse. Picture: ABC TV.
ABC host Stan Grant has quit after receiving racial abuse. Picture: ABC TV.

Indigenous senator Lidia Thorpe has thrown her support behind ABC presenter Stan Grant, who has taken leave after facing growing racial abuse.

Grant, a proud Wiradjuri journalist, announced he would be “walking away” from the program in an essay published on ABC’s website on Friday, citing racist abuse while at the helm of the program.

Dozens of employees gathered in front of the broadcaster’s Sydney headquarters at Ultimo, outside Parliament House at Canberra and outside the Melbourne headquarters on Monday afternoon.

Staff at the ABC have staged a walk out today over the exit of Q+A host Stan Grant — who is leaving the broadcaster over racist abuse.
Staff at the ABC have staged a walkout today over the exit of Q+A host Stan Grant, who is leaving the broadcaster over racist abuse.

The Q+A presenter will host the program on Monday night before he takes time out for an unspecified time period.

Senator Thorpe, who has been vocal about racial vilification, said on Monday racism in Australia is a “violent illness”.

“Racism is in most of our workplaces including the so called highest level of governance in this country, where racism is an everyday occurrence and according to government procedure there is no rule against Racism in the chamber. It’s not ok to be Racist. Or is it?” she tweeted.

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Indigenous Senator Lidia Thorpe has thrown her support behind ABC presenter Stan Grant who has called out racism. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman

“Racism is alive and well in this country. When you call it out, you become the target. I know too well what hate speech and Racism looks like, you are then branded the problem and the aggressor and labeled with being divisive.

“I Stand with Stan in the fight against Racism in this county. It’s a violent illness that this nation must and can overcome.”

Staff at the ABC have walked off the job in solidarity with Q&A host Stan Grant, who sensationally quit following racist abuse.Grant, a proud Wiradjuri journalist, announced he would be “walking away” from the program in an essay published on ABC’s website on Friday, citing racist abuse while at the helm of the program.Dozens of employees gathered in front of the Sydney headquarters at Ultimo and outside Parliament House at Canberra on Monday afternoon.Staffer Dee Jefferson took to Twitter announcing the walk out, saying many staff share the same experience of racial abuse. Picture: Tyron Butson/ Twitter
Staff at the ABC have walked off the job in solidarity with Q&A host Stan Grant, who sensationally quit following racist abuse. Picture: Tyron Butson/ Twitter

On Monday, ABC staff across the country held rallies to show support for Grant.

Staffer Dee Jefferson took to Twitter announcing the walkout, saying many staff share the same experience of racial abuse.

“ABC staff are walking out in support of Stan this afternoon,” she wrote.

“Stan’s experience of racist abuse is shared by so many colleagues. Listening is the smallest part of what we can do to help clean up this mess.”

ABC presenter Stan Grant is standing down from duties following backlash over the station’s Coronation coverage.
ABC presenter Stan Grant is standing down from duties following backlash over the station’s Coronation coverage.
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Staff pictured outside ABC headquarters in support of Stan Grant.

ABC host Patricia Karvelas also tweeted on Monday afternoon in support.

“#istandwithstan #werejectracism,” her tweet wrote.

Federal political reporter Dana Morse wrote: “Enough is enough”.

Meanwhile, co-host of ABC News Breakfast Virginia Trioli also tweeted the hashtags while tagging ABC Melbourne and ABC TV.

Other reporters threw in their support, including Triple J Hack reporter Kimberly Price and reporter Casey Briggs.

“ABC staff stand in solidarity with Stan Grant and against absolute drongos #IStandWithStan,” Briggs tweeted.

Images were shared to social media showing the crowd of employees by Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance union (MEAA) organiser Tyron Butson.

Signs held by members of the crowd read “I stand with Stan” and “We reject racism”.

“Amazing to see a massive member turnout from ABC Ultimo saying #werejectracism and #istandwithstan declaring Australian media and society must do better,” Mr Butson wrote.

Members of Grant’s family also attended the Sydney protest and thanked the crowd for support.

Grant shocked viewers by announcing his resignation last week, which came less than a year after being made the permanent host of the network’s current affairs talk show.

He said he was standing down due to racial abuse and lack of public support from people at the ABC, especially after he criticised the monarchy during coverage of the King’s coronation in early May.

“This year, the stakes are higher. There is a referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, and I am not alone in feeling judged. This is an Australian judgment of us. Such is politics,” he explained.

“But racism is a crime. Racism is violence. And I have had enough.”