Cinema Nova, Melbourne, dropped an Australia Day ad after Gunai Gunditjmara’s wife Meriki Onus told them the ad was unsuitable for mobs. I reached out to Meriki to discuss the advertisement, Cinema Nova’s response, and the issues we face as Invasion Day approaches.
The advertisement Onus is referring to was dated 2019-2010 National Australia Day Council developed and included a series of testimonials from a diverse group of Australians calling on people to « reflect, respect and celebrate » Australian Day as part of the same national history.
« You just walk in the theaters to switch off and I saw the ad and just didn’t appreciate it, « Onus told me on the phone. “I’m trying very hard to avoid the Australian Day propaganda.” Contrary to false claims, Onus hates Australia, her tweet after the ad read: “I love coming to your cinema to switch off. However, the Australian Day ads that you are reviewing made us uncomfortable. This is highly unreasonable for mobs to have to pay to sit through. I hope you will think again. “
Thank you @merikiko for bringing this up to us. Our pre-film ads are created by third parties and made available to us for screening. Given the current reduced office hours, they may not have been checked with our usual care. (1/2)
Cinema Nova responded in less than an hour, apologizing and thanking Onus for raising the issue. They stated that the advertisements created by a third party had not been checked with the usual care. « We would never deliberately make our valued customers uncomfortable, so we will remove the related propaganda from further sessions. »
Onus didn’t know what to expect when she tweeted about the ad at Cinema Nova, only that she did did not want to see in a place she supported. “They responded quickly and quickly … Many venues are on the rise on invasion day. It didn’t surprise me very much. «
We would never make our valued customers uncomfortable on purpose, so we will remove the related propaganda from further meetings. We hope to see you again soon. (2/2)
On the subject of the Inevitable backlash, Onus says, “There are bigger problems.” Onus is currently helping organize the Melbourne Invasion Day march. “It’s a more prominent event that [Aborigines] are focused on.”
“I encourage everyone, us to meet at 11 am on the steps of Parliament. We’re going to talk about topics that are really important to our people. « But I encourage all local businesses to build more meaningful relationships with local Blackfellas across the country. » Unfortunately, I can predict a month-long campaign from the usual areas, Used in Cinema Nova to prevent Australia Day ads from being shown. https://t.co/UDCaOgRIjR
Onus acknowledges her privilege when it comes to cinema discomfort. “There are a lot of Blackfellas in this country who have far bigger problems. The stolen land problem … Our people are exposed to genocide every day. We focus on the invasion day and will not stop. «
The indigenous people face numerous problems caused by caused European colonization. More recently, the focus has been on the destruction of sacred sites, the refusal to lower the age of crime leading to excessive incarceration of Aboriginal children and, of course, deaths in custody.
Small wins like these are important and even uplifting. But it’s also important to keep an eye on the bigger picture and advocate for the bigger picture of the Aborigines in this country.
Merryana Salem is a proud Wonnarua and Lebanese-Australian critic, teacher, researcher and podcaster on most social media as @akajustmerry. If you want, check out her podcast, GayV Club, where she and her best friend rave about LGBT reps in the media. In any case, she’s hoping that you had something nice to eat today.
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