ABC host Stan Grant will retire D+R following continued criticism and abuse, particularly around her appearance on ABC’s Coronation coverage.
In a statement, ABC News Editor Justin Stevens, said: “Over many months, but particularly in recent days, Stan Grant has been subjected to grotesque racial abuse, including threats to his safety. This has gotten especially virulent since he appeared as part of ABC’s coronation coverage.
“It is abhorrent and unacceptable.
“Stan personally addresses this issue in a column published today.”
Grant wrote: “My family and I are regularly racially mocked or racially abused on social media. This isn’t new. Barely a week goes by where I am not racially targeted. My wife is being abused for being married to a Wiradjuri man.
“I don’t even read it, yet I can’t escape it. People stop me on the street to tell me how vile it is. They tell me how sorry they are. Even as I try to protect myself from it, the fact that it’s out there poisons the air I breathe.
He continued: “I’m not beyond criticism. I occupy a privileged and prominent place in the media: I should be criticized. And I don’t have thin skin. Aboriginal people learn to resist. This is the price of survival.”
Grant was named permanent host of D+R in July 2022 after a short period of rotating guests, with Virginia Trioli and David Speers.
Since Tony Jones’ departure in 2019, Grant has grabbed headlines, including asking a member of the public to leave in March of last year.
Grant recently openly criticized ABC’s lack of diversity in its recent election night coverage in NSW, saying, “There is no excuse for what I saw on the air last night. Nobody. I’ve worked in organizations all over the world and nowhere would what we presented last night be tolerated.
Stevens went on to say that he welcomed the constructive discussion while defending the panel’s “strong and well-presented editorial”.
Grant wrote today that “no one at ABC — whose producers invited me as a guest to their coronation coverage — has uttered a single word of public support. No ABC executive has publicly refuted the lies written or told about me. I do not hold any individual accountable; this is an institutional failure.
“I appreciate the friendship of ABC news director Justin Stevens. It has been a support and a comfort. He is trying to change an organization that has its own legacy of racism. But he knows I’m disappointed. I am discouraged.
“I was neither the producer nor the host of the coronation broadcast, yet every newspaper article accusing the ABC of bias carried my image. I am writing this because I don’t want people to paint me as a hate person.
Stevens said today: “Stan is one of Australia’s best and most respected journalists and broadcasters. The ABC stands by him and condemns the attacks directed against him,
“The ABC has and will continue to report any threats to the police. Earlier this year, ABC filed a detailed complaint with Twitter about Stan’s racist abuse posted on its platform.
“Stan Grant was one of a series of speakers who appeared during ABC’s May 6 invitational coronation coverage. He was not the instigator of the program. He was asked to participate as a Wiradjuri man to discuss his family’s experience and the role of monarchy in Australia in the context of Indigenous history.
“It is part of ABC’s role to facilitate such important conversations, however complex and uncomfortable, and to reflect the diversity of perspectives.
“The panel discussion he attended aired early as a segment in approximately eight hours of live coverage of Coronation. The timing of this important discussion ahead of the event prompted a strong response from some viewers. This is regrettable. The ABC Ombudsman will investigate editorial complaints about coverage, according to the usual process.
“The responsibility for coverage rests with ABC News management, not with Stan Grant. Yet it is he who has borne the brunt of a tirade of criticism, particularly in the usual sections of the media that target the ABC. The reporting of his contribution to the roundtable was unfair, inaccurate and irresponsible. He has helped fuel horrendous personal and racial abuse.
“Any complaints, criticisms — or vitriol — about the coverup should be directed at me, not him.
“Yindyamalgirridyu mainyinguwal. In Wiradjuri that means I will respect other people.”
Grant will step down as host after Monday’s show. ABC has yet to indicate when he will return.
Updated: A previous issue incorrectly stated that Stan Grant had left as Q&A host.