The Australian Film Institute has instigated some major changes to the broadcast of its annual awards to be held in December, which ABC TV feels shows a lack of respect for the television nominees, and seriously diminishes the role television plays in the ceremony.
ABC TV has today withdrawn its support for the awards, and as a result, the network will not be attending either The AFI Industry Awards (December 5) or the on-air AFI Awards Dinner ceremony (December 6) or funding the attendance by any nominees.
ABCs Director of Television Kim Dalton said "We have not taken this decision lightly. The AFI has removed a number of major television awards from the broadcast night. Some categories remain part of the Award Dinner, while others have been moved to the Industry Awards, effectively splitting up some program teams."
"The AFI alone has selected those they believe are the highest-profile faces to attend the broadcast, while other members of the team do not receive an invite to the dinner/broadcast. Instead they are invited to view the telecast on a large screen elsewhere."
"As we all know, making television is a team effort, and ABC TV cannot support this move which favours some over others," he said.
The major TV nominations being moved include Best Comedy Series, Best Light Entertainment, Best Supporting Actor/Actress, Best Childrens Drama, Best Direction, Best Screenplay, and Outstanding Performance in a Television Comedy.
"We have spoken with the AFI to see if there is any way they will address our concerns, and they have advised us that changes cant be made. Therefore, ABC TV Management has decided, with regret, that we are unable to support this years AFI Awards," said Dalton.