In his final appearance as host of Q+A, Stan Grant delivered a pointed critique of the media industry, suggesting it may inadvertently perpetuate the racism it claims to battle.
This poignant self-reflection was part of an emotional farewell from the ABC presenter.
"I fear the media does not have the love or the language to speak to the gentle spirits of our land," Grant said, expressing his need for a break from the media.
"I feel like I’m part of the problem. And I need to ask myself how, or if, we can do it better."
This introspective comment was a focal point of the episode, during which Grant, accompanied by a panel of first-term politicians, discussed online racial abuse with Grant admitting social media comments were not the main reason for his departure.
Panel members included Labour MP Michelle Ananda-Rajah, Liberal MP Zoe McKenzie, Green MP Max Chandler-Mather, and Independent Senators David Pocock and Tammy Tyrrell.
The conversation was prompted by an audience member questioning what could be done to combat online "hate speech," particularly that which Grant claims he has recently experienced.
Senator Pocock drew on his rugby experiences, citying the "ripple effect" of such abuse, particularly on his Indigenous teammates. He called for leadership and an active acknowledgment of the issue at a national level.
Ananda-Rajah suggested that fostering direct contact with different ethnic minorities was a potent strategy against prejudices.
Chandler-Mather, meanwhile, pointed a finger at ABC’s management for their perceived lack of support for Grant, indicating that the key was leadership taking a stand against such unacceptable behaviour.
Grant's decision to exit the programme came after a wave of online backlash following his commentary on the British monarchy during ABC's live coverage of King Charles III's coronation.
This sparked demonstrations by his colleagues at various locations, expressing their disappointment over the executives' lack of support.
Grant addressed his online criticism directly in his final Q+A episode but emphasised it was not the reason for him leaving the program.
However, he spoke of their "success" in causing him and his family distress, invoking the Indigenous concept of 'yindyamarra', which encompasses mutual responsibility.
Grant extended an apology to the Indigenous community for his impending absence, promising that he always strived to represent them with pride.
This marked yet another transition for Q+A, which has seen numerous hosts since the departure of long-time moderator Tony Jones in 2019.