ABC colleagues support Stan Gran after host walked away from Q+A

Prominent media personalities have rallied to support Indigenous television host Stan Grant after he announced he would leave his job following racial abuse online. 

Mr Grant has been the host of the popular current affairs talk show Q+A for nearly a year but said that Monday’s program would be his last. 

The veteran presenter said he had had enough of the ‘relentless racial filth’ and the perceived lack of support from his higher-ups at the public broadcaster. 

He said he felt let down by ABC bosses who had not publicly supported him and condemned the attacks, which intensified after he appeared on the ABC’s coverage of King Charles’ coronation where he spoke of the hardships of First Nations people.

‘This year the stakes are higher. There is a referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament and I am not alone in feeling judged,’ Mr Grant, a proud Wiradjuri, Gurrawin and Dharawal man, wrote.

‘This is an Australian judgement on us. Such is politics. But racism is a crime. Racism is violence. And I have had enough.’

Stan Grant decision to leave Q+A after intense racist attacks on social media sparked a wave of support from colleagues

Sarah Ferguson from the ABC's 7.30 was furious her colleague had been forced to step down

Sarah Ferguson from the ABC’s 7.30 was furious her colleague had been forced to step down 

Host of the ABC’s 7.30 program, Sarah Ferguson, was quick to praise Mr Grant on Friday in a tweet that has been viewed by more than 238,000 people.

‘Stan Grant is an admired colleague. The abuse directed at him is disgusting. There are no words adequate to the horror we feel at this,’ she wrote.

‘Stan is brilliant and cherished.’

Journalist Tracy Spicer wrote: ‘He’s walking away. This is always the aim of the bigots: To silence powerful voices’.

‘Shame on the ABC for not backing him up,’ she said.

Social commentator Jane Caro also weighed in. 

‘Horrified that Stan Grant was asked to comment on the Coronation, did so, & was hung out to dry… I don’t always agree with Stan (so what) but racist attacks are never OK.’

ABC colleague Virginia Trioli wrote she was ‘appalled and saddened that Stan Grant, a brilliant broadcaster and thinker, has been forced from the ever-crucial contest of ideas.’

‘If this country can’t have a civil debate about recognition, racism and the legacy of colonialism then we are lost. I hope he returns soon,’ she wrote.

But her support of Mr Grant only caused her to then become a new target for trolls.

She gave an update less than a day later in which she said her ‘feed had been flooded with the most awful racist s*** and inflammatory Voice disinformation.’

‘Very few of these accounts actually follow me,’ she added, and questioned whether Twitter’s algorithm works in a way that would ‘draw’ trolls to her tweet.

Even Prime Minister Anthony Albanese weighed in on Mr Grant’s departure from Q+A as he touched down in Japan on Friday afternoon for the G7 summit.

‘Stan Grant is someone who has my respect and I wish him well,’ he said.

‘I think we need to be really, really cognisant in the lead up to the referendum that will be held in the fourth quarter of this year about some of the hurtful comments that have been made.

‘You only have to look at one of my social media feeds to see some of the comments that are quite frankly completely out of line. We can have respect for different views without engaging in vilification and that’s important.’

Virginia Trioli who hosts the ABC's News Breakfast said she was targeted by trolls after she tweeted in support of Stan Grant

Virginia Trioli who hosts the ABC’s News Breakfast said she was targeted by trolls after she tweeted in support of Stan Grant

Mr Grant in a lengthy column on Friday explained his decision to quit Q+A and said he felt ‘no one’ at the ABC had stood up for him. 

‘I am writing this because no one at the ABC – whose producers invited me onto their coronation coverage as a guest – has uttered one word of public support,’ he wrote.

‘Not one ABC executive has publicly refuted the lies written or spoken about me. I don’t hold any individual responsible; this is an institutional failure.

‘I value the friendship of ABC Director of News, Justin Stevens. He has been a support and a comfort. He is trying to change an organisation that has its own legacy of racism. But he knows I am disappointed. I am dispirited. 

‘I was not the producer nor presenter of the coronation broadcast yet every newspaper article accusing the ABC of bias has carried my image. I am writing this because I will not have people depict me as a person of hate.’

ABC News director Justin Stevens issued a statement calling out the abuse on Friday, saying Mr Grant had been included in the coronation panel by way of invitation.

‘Racist abuse, including threats to (Mr Grant’s) safety have become particularly virulent since he appeared as part of the ABC’s Coronation coverage,’ he wrote. 

‘Stan is one of Australia’s best and most respected journalists and broadcasters. The ABC stands by him and condemns the attacks directed towards him.

‘The responsibility for the coverage lies 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 ABC's coronation coverage prompted 1,000 complaints from monarchists but more than 1million people tuned in

The ABC’s coronation coverage prompted 1,000 complaints from monarchists but more than 1million people tuned in 

The ABC panel for the coronation, hosted by Jeremy Fernandez and Julia Baird, included journalist Stan Grant, lawyer and Indigenous writer Teela Reid, Liberal backbencher and monarchist Julian Leeser and co-chair of the Australian Republic Movement Craig Foster.

In a statement about the coverage the ABC said: ‘Hearing from Indigenous Australians and reflecting on Australia’s history is an important part of this.’

‘Especially as this year Australians will vote in a referendum on whether a First Nations voice to parliament should be included in the nation’s constitution.’

The Australian Monarchist League claimed the coverage included ‘vitriolic attacks on the king, the monarchy, the British settlement’. 

The ABC received more than a 1,000 complaints, though the coverage topped viewers numbers in Australia with more than 1,182,000 people tuning in.