Australia’s national broadcaster ABC was forced to cancel a Drag story time event after it received “hateful and offensive” backlash.
ABC planned to film the Drag story time event on February 22, 2024, at Rockdale Library in southern Sydney and broadcast it during the 2024 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. A call for children aged between three to five who wanted to be part of the filming was posted last week.
Screenshots of the posts were shared by far-right and fringe groups resulting in the vile hate directed at the event.
‘Hateful And Offensive’
“The ABC invited families from within the LGBTQIA+ community to participate in a Drag Queen Story Time event which would be filmed as part of our Mardi Gras coverage. These events are designed for families and are regularly held in public spaces,” ABC, which is the official broadcaster of the 2024 Sydney Mardi Gras, said in a statement.
“As part of this partnership, the ABC showcases the diversity of the LGBTQIA+ community, aligning with its Charter obligation to reflect all Australians.”
The ABC condemned “the hateful and offensive response we have received from some individuals in response to the callout for this event.”
“The event will no longer be held at the Rockdale Library and the ABC is considering how we can safely host it,” the ABC said.
Far-Right Targets Drag Story Time Events
Neo-Nazis, far-right groups and conservative politicians have targeted Drag story time and LGBTQI events in recent times. Drag story time events were cancelled in Melbourne, Sydney and other Australian cities.
Liberal councillor Jerome Cox recently introduced a motion calling on Hill Shire council in the Greater Sydney region to shut down Drag story time events.
In November 2022, South Australian Liberal Senator Antic faced flak for using an offensive grooming slur against drag performer Courtney Act’s ABC show.