Garbage Trucks Blockade SBS Over Struggle Street
A fleet of garbage trucks has blockaded SBS's headquarters as part of a protest by western Sydney residents against the broadcaster's documentary Struggle Street.
Led by Blacktown Mayor Stephen Bali, the protest in North Sydney follows SBS's refusal to halt Wednesday night's screening, despite accusations the program's depiction of vulnerable Mt Druitt residents is unfair.
"We brought garbage trucks because the show is garbage," Mr Bali said. Mt Druitt resident Peta Kennedy said her disabled 19-year-old daughter has been bullied since people saw a promo for the show in which her father Ashley, breaks wind.
"She got called names," a crying Ms Kennedy said.
"It's her I'm standing up for; it's my husband I'm standing up for.
"Everyone in the world has breaking wind, but you certainly wouldn't want it plastered over the media, plastered on national TV." The protest comes after talks between SBS management and Blacktown City councillors broke down when the broadcaster declined to pull or delay the first episode.
Standing on the steps of the SBS building, Mr Bali accused Struggle Street producers of engineering parts of the show to make people look more vulnerable. He said a scene depicting residents collecting metal for money later shows them buying junk food with the cash.
But Mr Bali said program staff bought them the food, while the residents spent their earned money on bread and milk for their families.
"That does not come through in the story," he said.
"All the way through we have lots of evidence of the wrong and unethical treatment by Keo Productions, and SBS need to own up to the investigations.
"Their integrity is on the line." He also took a swipe at the federal government for cutting funding to social programs in Western Sydney, while giving funding to SBS.