#1071 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 10 May 2015.
If “all publicity is good publicity,” then the backlash against the SBS television program Struggle Street, which first aired on Wednesday night, will be music to the multicultural ears of SBS management.
Struggle Street depicts the lives of residents in the western Sydney suburb of Mt Druitt, whom SBS content director Hellen Kellie said were:
living with real disadvantage … and we don’t often see them on our TVs without seeing them as stereotypes, and the job of SBS is to tell those stories.
In my view, there are better ways to highlight social disadvantage and its unfortunate consequences. And one person’s social disadvantage is another’s longed-for privilege.
In a world where one billion people live on less than $1.25 a day, and about the same number entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names, Struggle Street has many faces, and almost none are Australian.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.