THE possibility of a second season of the SBS TV series Struggle Street being filmed in Frankston has galvanised councillors to protest to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.
At last week’s council meeting councillors unanimously backed a proposal by Cr Glenn Aitken to ask the HREOC and the Australian Press Council to “investigate the negative impact of sensationalist media coverage which stigmatises entire communities, such as the recent unacceptable branding of the Mt Druitt community in NSW and repeated attacks upon the reputation of Frankston”.
Online bookmaker Sportsbet named Frankston as the joint favourite suburb to be the subject of controversial SBS documentary TV series Struggle Street (‘Bookie mean street call’, The Times 11/5/15).
Cr Aitken said “it is not a fair go and in fact entirely un-Australian to target or witch hunt more vulnerable sectors of any community and then by implication, portraying a tainted representation of an entire postcode or municipal area, which in turn, artificially slants the greater public perception of a place or a people.”
Council will write to the HREOC and the Press Council to investigate and consider legislation to stop “damaging stereotyping of communities”.
“I believe in free speech but I don’t think anyone has got the right to undermine and besmirch a whole community because they pick out a few people and create a laughing stock,” Cr Aitken said.