SBS confirms season two of Struggle Street

SBS has confirmed it has commissioned a second season of Struggle Street, one of the most controversial shows of 2015.

Some of the participants from the first season of documentary Struggle Street.

Some of the participants from season one of documentary Struggle Street

The move comes after reports last year that the multicultural broadcaster was scouting locations in Sunshine one of Melbourne’s poorer suburbs.

The documentary, which has been labelled “poverty porn” by its critics, last year drew an angry response from some in Western Sydney when it screened earlier this year but the controversy translated to strong audiences with the first episode drawing 935,000 metropolitan viewers.

In a statement SBS television and online content director, Marshall Heald, said: “At the heart of SBS is a commitment to contributing to a cohesive society. Struggle Street will seek to raise awareness and deepen our understanding of those of us in the community facing social and economic hardship through an honest reflection of what it’s like to be doing it tough in Australia today.”

Struggle Street series two will this time be filmed in Queensland and Victoria and again exploring the personal stories and challenges such as economic downturn and transition and hardship.

The series two will again be produced by Keo Films with funding support from Screen Australia and Film Victoria. It will air in late 2017.

In making the announcement SBS and the production company acknowledged last year’s controversy but argued it was part of a “crucial national conversation”.

SBS chief content officer, Helen Kellie, said: “There are 2.5 million people in Australia living below the poverty line. Some research points to the situation getting worse not better and this is a barrier to social cohesion.

“But the statistics don’t allow us to connect with the real stories, in a way that Struggle Street does, to raise awareness about hardship.”

Nic Christensen 


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