Triple J is seriously considering moving the iconic Hottest 100 countdown away from Australia Day, which has become increasingly controversial in recent years.
Triple J has been airing the Hottest 100 countdown on January 26, which marks the day the First Fleet landed, since 1989. The day is increasingly dubbed Invasion Day by Aboriginal Australians, as it marked the beginning of the colonisation of Australia by Europeans and the dispossession of its native inhabitants.
The discussions within Triple J were revealed yesterday by Pedestrian, which cited “multiple well-briefed sources”. The ABC is not quoted in Pedestrian’s report, and Triple J did not respond to Crikey’s requests for comment, but our own sources say Pedestrian’s report is on the money. The change hasn’t been kept quiet internally — a staff meeting tomorrow is scheduled to discuss the issue.
An online petition asking Triple J to change the date to “send a message to First Nations’ Peoples that they, and their experiences, are valued and respected by other Australians” has garnered more than 2000 signatures.
Update: A statement issued by Triple J this afternoon says the date is “under review”, but will not be changing in 2017.
“We’ve been aware of, and have been a part of, the discussions around 26 January for some time. triple j is heavily involved in the growing dialogue around Indigenous recognition and perspectives on 26 January. This is really important to us. We will continue to talk to Indigenous communities, artists and our audience about the date for the Hottest 100 in future years. In short: it’s under review.”
Triple J used the statement to announce the continuation of its partnership with the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience. Content director Ollie Wards said “we believe that together with a great organisation like AIME, triple j has a powerful opportunity and a responsibility to create a positive impact”. “In partnering with AIME we hope to raise money to empower Indigenous young people and also acknowledge and discuss all perspectives of 26 January.” — Myriam Robin