‘It’s absurd’: Dutton slams TV cancellations
Peter Dutton has lashed an apparent rash of "cancel culture" in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Netflix has pulled four shows featuring controversial Australian performer Chris Lilley and there are calls to topple statues of British explorer Captain James Cook.
"I don't think ripping pages out of history books and brushing over parts of history you don't agree with or you don't like is really something the Australian public is going to embrace," the Home Affairs Minister told Nine on Friday.
"There are good and bad parts of our history. You learn from that."
The Home Affairs Minister said Netflix removing the Chris Lilley shows, in which the comedian depicted a range of characters including in blackface, was absurd.
"Removing that sort of content from online or from our television sets, I just don't think makes any sense," he said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it was wrong to link Captain Cook to Black Lives Matter, arguing the protest movement was being hijacked by left-wing activists pushing their own agendas.
But Mr Morrison has been widely criticised for claiming there was no slavery in Australia, with many people pointing out the country's long history of forced labour and stolen wages of Aboriginal people.
Labor deputy leader Richard Marles agreed with Mr Dutton that "history matters".
"People need to be judged in the context of their history. And as Peter said, future generations are going to judge us," he said.
"They are actually going to judge us on what we do or do not do in terms of dealing with the question of Indigenous disadvantage in this country. That's what we have got to be focused on.
"I'm not sure that we're going to be given a lot of credit for going on a statue rampage.
"We actually have to be doing something about improving the lives of Indigenous Australians right now and I think that's what should be our focus.
Today reporter Brooke Boney, who is an Indigenous Australian, previously warned of the dangers of erasing the cinematic past after news broke that Netflix would be pulling Chris Lilley programs from its library.
In response to reports that ABC was also reviewing its programs, she said today: "I don't know where this will end up, how people are drawing the line how they are measuring what harm they are causing, what offence?
"Obviously it started with the Black Lives Matter and people are sensitive about the issues," she said, but added, "Censoring content from the past is a scary path. I feel like we're in (the book) 1984."
Originally published as 'It's absurd': Dutton slams TV cancellations