News Corp columnist and star of ABC series Recognition: Yes or No Andrew Bolt isn’t just going to appear on the ABC. He’s also coming to SBS’ National Indigenous Television, at a yet-to-be-determined date.

Simon Nasht, the writer and executive producer of the series that pits Bolt against newbie Senator and indigenous recognition advocate Linda Burney, told Crikey the ABC had agreed to give the program to NITV free of charge. “It’s the first time this has happened between the ABC and NITV,” Nasht said, noting that the indigenous channel would bring a “completely different perspective” to the program, which will air on the ABC on Tuesday.

When Bolt was revealed as one of two stars on the program, many were aghast. In 2011 Bolt was found to have breached the Racial Discrimination Act for two articles he’d written in 2009 that criticised some light-skinned Aboriginal people for “choosing” to identify as Aboriginal. Many argued that his breach of the Racial Discrimination Act should surely proscribe his participation in programs on indigenous issues to air on the ABC. The program caused a stir on the Bonner Committee of the ABC, which measures the broadcaster’s progress on indigenous issues.

Nasht says ignoring Bolt or the fact that his views are widely held does nothing to advance the discussion on indigenous recognition. “If white liberal Australia can’t deal with this, NITV can,” he said. — Myriam Robin

Peter Fray

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