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Gen Fricker accuses Triple J of letting racism slide: ‘Stop trading off as a progressive brand because it’s not real’

In a series of Instagram posts, former Triple J host Gen Fricker has accused the ABC’s youth brand of letting racism slide in its workplace and failing to champion the voices of people of colour.

“If you work at Triple J and you’re white, you’re part of the problem. And I don’t mean this – I mean, people can write this off as angry former worker, I don’t care, I have nothing to lose. And I’m also saying this because having chatted to people of colour who work at Triple J, with Triple J, want to be on Triple J, these are the discussions we are having. So here it is,” Fricker, who has previously spoken out about a lack of support from the employer over an incident with a stalker, said in the post.

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Posting this cos my mama said she was proud of me.

A post shared by Gen Fricker (@genfricker) on

“The difference between being not racist and anti-racist is calling out that shit. And I say it all the time. But I don’t think you realise how lonely it was to be one of two brown people in those rooms, having to explain why maybe a white woman singing a language with no black people was a bit fucking problematic. Or having to ask white co-workers to stop doing African-American accents in the office, blaccent.

“Or, how fucking horrible it is to go into an office with a manager that has no problem recording a 30-minute long ‘demo-sketch’ of him prank-calling one of our co-workers doing an Indian accent, pretending to be an Indian 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.”

In a statement responding to the allegations, the ABC said Triple J is proud of its diversity, but can do better.

“Triple j is proud of the diversity of our people, on-air and behind the scenes, and the ways in which we amplify diverse voices, music and issues on our airwaves,” a spokesperson said.

“We are committed to promoting diversity and inclusiveness but know we can always do better for our people and our audience. Like many media organisations, we are listening to and reflecting on the current conversation and our place within it. We will continue to work harder and be better.”

Triple J’s on-air talent. [Click to enlarge]

Fricker posted allegations against Triple J to her Instagram Stories [Click to enlarge]

Fricker was associated with Triple J from 2012 to 2019. She left the broadcaster last year to focus on her stand-up career.

“The thing is, we try and say shit in the room about this but you just get tired. You get tired of having to fucking explain it all the time. And it would be really great if literally any of these people posting black tiles, posting tiles about how to support Indigenous people, black people, Black Lives Matter, literally did anything like that day-to-day,” she continued.

“Like, that Indigenous ally tile is great and it’s awesome and I’m not going to diminish that work but post a fucking picture of the management team at Triple J and tell me that that comes from a real place. It’s not enough to just put black people, Indigenous people at the front – let them fucking absorb all the kinds of horrific shit that gets said to them by your audience – and then go, oh my work here is done, Like no.”

A number of media personalities supported Fricker, including ABC Life editor Bhakti Puvanenthiran – who commented “Needed to be said” – Southern Cross Austereo’s Ash London, The Feed’s Jan Fran, NITV’s Rae Johnston, actor Miranda Tapsell, musician Thelma Plum, and appearance diversity advocate Carly Findlay.

with Brittney Rigby 

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