Triple J responds to Gen Fricker claims: ‘we can always do better’
National youth broadcaster triple j has responded to claims made by former presenter Gen Fricker that the station presides over a workplace culture of racist behaviour.
In a video posted to Instagram on Friday (June 5), Fricker called out triple j and its employees, saying they don’t hold themselves to the same standards they preach.
“The difference between being not racist and anti-racist is calling out that shit,” Fricker said.
In a detailed statement provided to Radio Today on Wednesday morning, a spokesperson from the publically funded broadcaster said that “racism is not acceptable at triple j or the ABC”.
“Our team values are equality and diversity, and we have ABC-wide workplace guidelines and policies and we regularly discuss, at every level, our approach to making our workplace as inclusive as possible.”
There is a concession, however, that the broadcaster has more work to do.
“Triple j’s proud of its culture and the ways we amplify diverse voices, music and issues on our airwaves, but like a lot of organisations, we can always do better,” the spokesperson said.
Amid a series of Black Lives Matter protests in major cities all over the country last weekend, Fricker said she felt compelled to speak up about her experiences, which included having to “ask white co-workers to stop doing African-American accents in the office”.
Fricker also called out an unnamed triple j executive for recording a “30-minute long demo-sketch” in an Indian accent, pretending to be a call centre worker.
“Like, yeah, maybe that was recorded a long time ago, but it’s been on the system for five years. I don’t know if it’s still there now but it was on there up until I left,” Fricker said.
In today’s statement, triple j said it is “listening to feedback from former and current staff within our team as well as wider conversations, and reflecting on triple j’s place within them, both in terms of how we communicate as a team and with our audience.
“We know we have huge opportunities to play a part in change and we’re committed to working harder and doing more.”
Triple j is well-known for championing Indigenous artists, and also employs multiple First Australians, including Lunch presenter Dave Woodhead and weekend presenter Karla Ranby.
The broadcaster recently celebrated Reconciliation Week with a special lineup of presenters for the TOPS Indigenous Takeover on its Unearthed platform.
Watch Fricker’s full clip below:
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