ABC’s coronation coverage, which led to Stan Grant stepping down as host of the Q&A, sparked about 1,800 complaints from the public, the executive said.
David Anderson, testifying before Senate estimates in Canberra, said the complaints included about 60, which were filed through ABC’s official editorial complaints channel.
“Some of it was in good faith, a lot of it was not in good faith,” he said.
Hundreds of comments sent to ABC contained racist attacks, while others said the coronation discussion was worthwhile but badly timed, Mr Anderson said.
Grant made the decision to leave Q&A last week after growing racism against him after attending a panel discussion about the coronation.
ABC’s coronation coverage, which led to Stan Grant (pictured) stepping down as host of the Q&A, sparked about 1,800 complaints from the public, the executive said
Hundreds of comments sent to ABC contained racist attacks, while others said the coronation discussion was worthwhile but badly timed. Pictured are King Charles and Queen Camilla
During the show, the veteran correspondent, who is an indigenous man, pointed out that the crown represents the invasion and theft of Aboriginal land.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Mr Anderson again apologized for letting Grant down by not publicly supporting him sooner.
He said he was concerned about the ABC’s public-facing staff, noting that it was reviewing whether the organization was doing enough to support its staff.
“There is absolutely zero tolerance for racism of any kind and we want to be able to protect it,” he said.
Mr Anderson said he was particularly concerned for First Nations staff as the referendum on an Indigenous vote in Parliament drew nearer.
ABC’s David Anderson (pictured centre) said he was particularly concerned for First Nations personnel
News director Justin Stevens read several headlines attacking ABC’s coronation coverage that had been published in commercial media.
He said Grant had faced a long period of unrelenting racism because of his work and coverage of the coronation had met a surge of racist criticism on social media.
“We’re talking about a really large volume and spate of racial slurs and threats against Stan and his family over the course of several days,” he said.
He pointed out that the national broadcaster will change the way it supports employees facing malicious abuse.