Sam Armytage reveals barrage of vile death threats as she’s sued over ‘abhorrent’ Sunrise segment about Aboriginal kids and trolls target her dog Banjo – but she insists she’s not racist
- Sunrise host being sued for racial vilification over March 2018 panel discussion
- Armytage, Channel Seven and commentator Prue MacSween named in the case
- MacSween suggested second stolen generation would help Aboriginal children
- The presenter has since received a barrage of vile abuse online from sick trolls
- It includes numerous death threats, calls to commit suicide and sexist tropes
Sam Armytage has revealed the barrage of vile abuse she has received from sick online trolls, threatening to kill her and her dog Banjo, after news broke that she was being sued in a race row.
The Sunrise star is being sued for racial vilification over what was slammed as an ‘abhorrent’ TV segment about a ‘second stolen generation’.
Addressing the matter on Friday, Ms Armytage admitted that while her words during the March 2018 discussion were ‘clumsy’, she insisted they were not racist.
She also shared the torrent of vile abuse she had received online in recent days, with cruel trolls suggesting she kill herself and threats to ‘shut her mouth forever’.
‘Just one of many, many messages I’ve received from strangers this week,’ she wrote on Twitter, sharing a disturbing message from a stranger.
Sunrise host Samantha Armytage (pictured) is being sued over a March 2018 segment which suggested a second stolen generation was needed to help Aboriginal children
Ms Armytage shared this message (pictured, left) with her fans, having received vile abuse online in the recent days (right)
Other threats included a twisted wish that she would experience depression and hurt herself, while threatening to kill her beloved dog Banjo.
‘All of this nation is waiting for the day you commit suicide,’ one particularly vile message on Instagram read.
‘You deserve to die Samantha and I hope you do end up killing yourself before your foul disgusting uneducated mouth gets shut permanently forever.
‘Watch yourself. You’re sickening and shameful to call yourself an Australian.
‘I hope you get fired and after that end up in a spiral of depression.’
The controversy began over a panel discussion which suggested a second stolen generation was needed to help Aboriginal children.
Ms Armytage, Channel Seven and commentator Prue MacSween have all been named in a group complaint to the Federal Court led by a group of Indigenous elders and young community leaders.
Ms Armytage shared this message on social media on Friday (pictured, left and right) denying her comments were racist, calling them ‘clumsy’
Sam Armytage shared this vile threat with her social media followers (pictured), one of many abusive messages she has received in recent days
Ms Armytage (pictured) is seen during a shopping trip to Sydney’s Bondi Junction on Thursday
The March 2018 segment ignited protests outside Sunrise’s Sydney studio after MacSween said Indigenous children needed to be taken away from their parents again for their own welfare.
‘Just like the first stolen generation where a lot of kids were taken for their wellbeing, we need to do it again,’ she said in the on-air discussion.
Armytage, MacSween and radio host Ben Davis had all taken part in the three-way discussion about Aboriginal adoption.
The case is being taken to court after talks aimed at resolving the complaint at the Australian Human Rights Commission collapsed.
The complaint’s leading elder Aunty Rhonda Dixon-Grovenor said in a statement released through legal firm Susan Moriarty and Associates the group were simply looking for ‘accountability and equality’.
SAM ARMYTAGE’S STATEMENT IN FULL OVER ‘RACIAL VILIFICATION’ CLAIM
‘I’d like to address a segment I hosted on Sunrise in 2018.
‘It (the segment) covered comments by a government minister calling for new adoption laws following the rape of a two year old girl in the Northern Territory.
‘I was completely horrified & sickened by the incident (I still am) and ANY act of child abuse or neglect toward ANY child.
‘We discussed the topic because it was front page news that day.
‘AT NO STAGE DID I SUGGEST A SECOND STOLEN GENERATION.
‘The media regulator ruled Sunrise “breached” the rules.
‘Sunrise ran a follow-up segment involving indigenous experts. Sunrise apologised unreservedly & has generously compensated those people whose blurred images were shown in the segment.
‘Yesterday, a group of people announced they would now commence new proceedings.
‘Media reports about that has also mentioned another segment I did, back in 2015, about bi-racial twins.
‘Anyone who actually watches that video can clearly see I was being self deprecating & was commenting on my own Irish heritage & troublesome pale skin.
‘The twins involved agreed. My words may have been clumsy but they were certainly NOT racist.
‘I’ve attached a few of the tens of thousands of threats I’ve received over the past week, mainly from people who claim they wish to spread peace.
‘Most use violence towards me, some towards my dog Banjo.
‘There is no place for racism in our country, our media or our hearts. There should also be no place for violence or threats.’
Some sick trolls even made violent threats against Banjo (pictured), the presenter’s beloved dog
Further controversy was sparked over a 2015 discussion (pictured) about a pair of non-identical twins with mixed-race parentage
‘This nationwide 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,’ she said.
The group complaint also claimed the segment was ‘abhorrent’, ‘vile’ and ‘racist’.
Defending herself online on Friday, Ms Armytage said that ‘at no stage did I suggest a second generation.’
While discussing the rape of a toddler in the Northern Territory on the show, Ms Armytage explained she has been ‘completely horrified and sickened by the incident’.
She added that in another controversial segment from 2015, discussing twin girls with mixed-race heritage, she had not been racist.
The presenter was seen carrying shopping on Thursday (pictured) as news broke she was being sued for racial vilification
The group complaint to the Federal Court is being led by a group of Indigenous elders and young community leaders
‘Anyone who actually watches that video can clearly see I was being self deprecating & was commenting on my own Irish heritage & troublesome pale skin,’ she wrote.
‘The twins involved agreed. My words may have been clumsy but they were certainly NOT racist.’
‘Although we don’t disbelieve the reports, Seven is not aware of any actual claim being filed at this stage – so is not able to comment on this action,’ a Seven spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia on Thursday.
‘If and when anything is filed, we will review and take the appropriate steps.’
Pictured: Indigenous protestors disrupt a broadcast of the Seven Network’s Sunrise program at Kurrawa Beach on the Gold Coast in April 2018 after the segment went to air a month earlier
‘Seven settled the original matter in late 2019 in the Federal Court with the Yirrkala community and the Yolngu families and offered an unreserved apology on air shortly after.’
Channel Seven were also forced to independently audit production of the show and send editorial staff to Aboriginal cultural training after the broadcast.
The segment was also found to have breached the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice ‘for provoking serious contempt on the basis of race’.
A month after the segment, Indigenous protestors disrupted a broadcast of Sunrise at Kurrawa Beach on the Gold Coast – where the program was on location for the Commonwealth Games.
In the 2018 segment MacSween (pictured) had said Indigenous children needed to be taken away from their parents again for their own welfare