The NSW division of the CFMEU will tonight join a vigil outside Channel Seven’s Martin Place studios to protest against the network’s coverage of the Olympics, which the CFMEU’s Chinese-Australian members say has been discriminatory.

Protesters say the entry of the 416-person Chinese team during the opening ceremony was obscured by Seven cutting to a commercial break. Later, when a prediction of the medal tallies was on screen, the Chinese flag was erroneously displayed as Chile’s (which, by the by, looks entirely different).


CFMEU protestors at Martin Place. Source: CFMEU

CFMEU state secretary Brian Parker said in a statement:

“Channel Seven should realise there are ethnic communities in Australia that will not only be cheering on their adopted homeland, but also their place of birth. The Chinese community in Australia is the largest non-indigenous minority group – it’s not too much to ask that Channel Seven get the Chinese flag right.”

CFMEU organiser Yu Lei Zhou also threw his weight behind the vigil:

“Many members of the Sydney Chinese community are angry at the lack of awareness Channel Seven has shown toward ethnic viewers of the Olympics.

“We want Channel Seven management to apologise for its broadcast to date and to ensure it shows respect to ethnic communities in Australia by ensuring they can watch the performances of athletes from their homelands.”

It’s a bit of an odd fit for the CFMEU. We contacted them to ask why this issue drew their attention, but have yet to hear back. Channel Seven was also contacted for comment.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey