In the Hot Topics segment that was broadcast in March 2018, Samantha, Prue and radio host Ben Davis shared factually inaccurate statements about Indigenous child removal and failed to include any Indigenous Australians on their panel.
During the segment, Sam said, “Post-Stolen Generation, there’s been a huge move to leave Aboriginal children where they are, even if they’re being neglected in their own families.”
“Just like the first stolen generation where a lot of kids were taken for their wellbeing, we need to do it again,” Prue McSween added.
Shortly after, protestors gathered outside the Sunrise studio and the segment was found to be in breach of the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice.
A September 2018 ruling from the Australia Communications and Media Authority highlighted that the segment contained “strong negative generalisations about Indigenous people as a group.”
Aboriginal Elder Aunty Rhonda Dixon-Grovenor, who is leading the legal action being taken, commented on the "entrenched racism" in Australia and requested "accountability and equality.”
“This is a very important time for our people, with tens of thousands of Australians standing up to call for recognition, justice and reconciliation," she said in the official statement.
"People are standing up around the world calling out system and entrenched racism and saying ‘Enough!’ We have been fighting for so long for justice and to end racism in Australia – we just want accountability and equality.”
“This nation-wide broadcast by Channel Seven in March 2018 was another symbol of national shame and another appalling example of the deeply entrenched virus of racism that still plagues white platforms of privilege in this country.”
This isn't the first time the segment has been the subject of a legal case.
Members of the Yirrkala Aboriginal Community filed a separate defamation case, that reached Federal Court-approved settlement in December 2019.
The community were featured in unrelated file footage during the segment. Channel Seven ultimately paid out an undisclosed compensation to the group and agreed to issue a public apology.
Channel Seven has not yet commented.