Oz TV soaps slammed for toeing White Australia policy” during casting

November 15th, 2008 - 1:16 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, November 15 (ANI): Aussie academics and politicians have slammed TV producers for exercising a “White Australia” policy while casting actors for top-rated soap operas.
The White Australia policy had begun in 1901 to restrict non-white immigration to the country, and was scrapped in 1973.
Experts fear that TV programmes that are not featuring families from ethnic minorities may give international viewers the “wrong impression” about Australia.
University of Queensland Aboriginal studies lecturer Sam Watson said that the dramas were operating an “exclusive white family club” that did not reflect the countrys true demographic.
“The producers and directors of these shows are very sadly harking back to the White Australia policy of the ”40s and ”50s. Instead of embracing the rich diversities of our country, they are shunning it,” news.com.au quoted him as saying.
The actors union, Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, also expressed concern over the matter.
Simon Whipp, the union’’s national director of actors” equity, revealed that they would discuss the problems at a conference in Sydney next month.
He revealed that he had been campaigning on the issue for 20 years, yet little improvement had been made.
“Our members are missing out on roles for no other reason than the fact that they are not white,” he said.
Aboriginal MP Marion Scrymgour, Arts Minister for the Northern Territory, also stressed the need for greater representation of people in indigenous communities on TV.
“It’’s important that young Aboriginal people are able to see there are opportunities for interesting and rewarding employment,” she said. (ANI)

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