Channel 9 has yielded to angry Australians who blasted the network for using an all-white cast in its Covid-19 vaccine ad.
The TV network unveiled its #GetVaccinated promotion on Tuesday with the tagline ‘this is our shot’ to encourage people around the country to get the jab.
The ad featured local stars including The Block’s Scott Cam, and the Today show’s Allison Langdon and Karl Stefanovic, but copped heavy criticism online due to a lack of diversity.
On Wednesday, the network launched a recut version of the campaign with indigenous Today presenter Brooke Boney, and Asian travel gurus Kev and Teng.
Pictured: Indigenous host Brooke Boney, who featured in a recut version of Channel 9’s Covid ad following backlash
Pictured: Asian travel gurus Kev and Teng, who were also added to the TV campaign after social media users pointed out a lack of diversity
When approached for comment by Daily Mail Australia, Channel 9 doubled down on its initial statement following the backlash on Tuesday.
‘As we are in the midst of a global pandemic, Nine Network is continuing to support community awareness regarding Covid and to be informed about the vaccination, this is our shot for Australia to be connected again,’ Director of television Michael Healy said.
‘It is an internal initiative and there will be a number of promos rolled out during this campaign’.
In the ad, celebrities spruiked the vaccine by saying it was ‘our shot’ at tackling Covid-19 to keep the borders open, sports stadiums full and keep businesses open.
Sandwiched between Hot Seat’s Eddie McGuire and sports presenter Erin Molan, budget travel extraordinaires Kev and Teng jumped in and said the jab was ‘our shot to get back out there and get amongst it’.
The duo host the Nine show, Travel Guides, with co-host Dorian, who was not included in the promo.
Brooke Boney, who is an entertainment reporter on the popular breakfast program Today, was slotted in after music star Amy Shark and said: ‘This is out shot to look out for each other’.
The Block’s Scott Cam is featured in the Covid-19 promotion getting the vaccine
Offended viewers pointed out that all of the 18 celebrities in the ad are Caucasian, while others said a global pandemic wasn’t a time for an identity political debate.
Leading the Twitter charge was Media Diversity Australia co-founder and Channel 10 presenter Antoinette Lattouf.
‘Yo Channel 9 you missed your shot at looking like you care about the health of anyone who isn’t white #getvaccinated #butonlyifyourewhite,’ she posted.
Ms Lattouf said though she applauded what the network was trying to do for public health, ‘good intentions doesn’t (sic) mean you escape criticism when you miss the mark’.
Channel Nine has come under fire for its ‘all white’ television ad encouraging Australians to get vaccinated against Covid-19. Pictured: Channel Nine’s Erin Molan (left) and Allison Langdon (right)
Leading the Twitter charge was Media Diversity Australia co-founder and Channel 10 presenter Antoinette Lattouf
‘How many people took part or approved it? Social media team, publicity team, on air talent, production etc,’ she said.
‘Many opportunities for someone to notice the glaring obvious. Welcome to blind spots folks. I trust it’s that and not white supremacy.’
ABC journalist Natasha Mitchell also took aim at the advertising whitewash.
‘So white. Australia is 24 million times more diverse. Do better to represent. Tagline ‘This is Our Shot’ catchy and effective. It could stick,’ Mitchell wrote.
Twitter users were baffled why Indigenous presenter Brooke Boney (right)was added after the backlash, and why Vietnamese-Australian newsreader Tracy Vo (left) was left out altogether
Lee Martin, who studies cultural diversity in workplaces said the ‘ad feels like one blonde woman after another interspersed with some white blokes’.
Twitter users were baffled why Indigenous presenter Brooke Boney was left out of the original cut, and why Vietnamese-Australian newsreader Tracy Vo were left out altogether.
However not everyone took issue with the alleged lack of diversity in the ad.
‘More race baiting. Sad,’ one Twitter user wrote.
‘There are more important things to be worried about,’ wrote another.