Channel 10 has reportedly removed Waleed Aly’s controversial 2017 interview with Heritier Lumumba after it was thrust back into the spotlight in recent weeks.
Aly is facing widespread calls to apologise to Lumumba after the former Collingwood player was vindicated last week by a damning independent review that found the club guilty of “systemic racism”.
‘WEAK AS P*SS’: Teammate's bombshell claim against Lumumba
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Lumumba claimed he was nicknamed “chimp” while playing for Collingwood, just one of a series of disturbing claims about the treatment he received at the club.
In 2017 he opened up about his ordeal in an interview with Aly on The Project - an interview which has caused anger in recent weeks in light of the findings in the independent review.
After the interview aired, fellow Project host and Collingwood fan Peter Helliar appeared to question the authenticity of Lumumba’s allegations, saying: “It would be really helpful if we heard more detail, especially with the nickname”.
Helliar also said Lumumba was “smearing an entire club”, comments which the comedian has since apologised for.
— Peter Helliar (@pjhelliar) February 1, 2021
Aly has also come under fire after he too appeared to be sceptical of Lumumba’s claims, however the Project host has not apologised.
But in a fresh twist, Huffington Post Australia reported on Friday that video of the Lumumba interview has now been taken off the Channel 10 website and social media channels.
The Daily Telegraph also pointed out: “The clip mysteriously disappeared from the broadcaster’s online platforms last week after Aly was accused of hypocrisy after openly doubting Lumumba’s claims of racism during a TV interview.”
Thanks @Williams__Carly for this detailed piece on the disgraceful interview I was subjected to by the Project, in 2017; the damage was far reaching. Indigenous and African journalists have been a major key to me being able to pursue justice since.https://t.co/fpjsN9JUjX
— Héritier Lumumba (@iamlumumba) February 4, 2021
Discussing the furore on ABC program Offsiders last weekend, renowned cricket journalist Gideon Haigh was critical of the Project hosts.
“Was it ever seriously so difficult to believe Lumumba?” Haigh asked.
“It seems to me the journalists bought readily into the club’s campaign to discredit him because of their need for access, because of their general conformity and frankly their whiteness.”
"The journalists bought readily into [Collingwood's] campaign to discredit [Lumumba] because of their need for access, because of their general conformity and, frankly, their whiteness."
Gideon Haigh takes a swipe at the media after the Collingwood racism report. #offsiders pic.twitter.com/jKTp0jBmVG
— Offsiders ABC (@OffsidersABC) February 7, 2021
Lumumba slams Collingwood response to report
On Monday Lumumba described Collingwood and the AFL’s response to the damning report into systemic racism at the Magpies as “shameful”.
After Collingwood president Eddie McGuire’s botched a media conference last Monday, Magpies board member Jodie Sizer has conducted a number of interviews.
The AFL’s inclusion and social policy manager Tanya Hosch has also spoken to some media outlets.
But in a series of tweets, Lumumba claimed that was not good enough.
“It's shameful that both Collingwood and the AFL have forced two Black women - Jodi (sic) Sizer and Tanya Hosch respectively - to front the media for the past week, instead of Eddie McGuire and Gillon McLachlan,” Lumumba wrote on Monday.
“Systemic issues start at the top. The people at the top need to front up and face the media, instead of getting others to take their hits. This is pathetic leadership and a clear case of cowardice.
“Jodi (sic) Sizer has only been at CFC for 2 years. Why should she have to answer for McGuire's 20 years of failures, with respect to racism?
“These Black women should not have to answer for the incompetence & indifference of privileged white men with major institutional power.”
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