The controversial SBS doco about Aussie battlers has aired. And the public reaction is…
She was kicked out of home on her 13th birthday after getting into a physical fight with her mum’s boyfriend. On the streets, she was raped, became addicted to ice and tried to kill herself.
Now 16, she is just one of the “down and out” characters featured on the new SBS show, Struggle Street.
The three-part series documents the grim reality of Australian’s “doing it tough” in public housing (referred to as “havens for the downtrodden”) in Sydney’s western suburbs, specifically Mount Druitt.
You’ve likely heard of the show due to recent outcry by the residents portrayed in it. They’re unimpressed by the way they’re depicted, and there have been allegations that it’s little more than “publicly funded poverty porn”.
More about the outcry: Sydney residents are begging SBS not to broadcast this documentary.
Following the uproar about a promo for the show, SBS cut some scenes “out of respect” for the families involved, including one scene of a man farting on his front porch.
(Another highlight from the preview reel includes a woman yelling at her cat, “You’re a slut. Tell the truth, you slut cat.”)
Chief content officer Helen Kellie said they removed parts of the episode that participants were uncomfortable with, but that did not distort the story, Mumbrella reports.
She said the broadcaster wanted to ensure they were showing accurate stories, not just those the participants wished they could tell.
The show promised to share the untold stories of battling Aussies. And tonight it delivered.
In case you missed it, here are the most memorable parts of the first episode:
1. Young single mum Erin taking in homeless teen Bailee.
Erin was one of the local “bored teens”, who ended up pregnant at 15. “It was all my own fault… I was hanging out with the wrong people, doing the wrong things,” she says. Now, the unemployed single mum wants to be a youth refuge worker. “I think if I had someone to help me when I was younger, life might have been bit different, a little bit less of a struggle,” she reasons.
She offers to take in Bailee, the 16-year-old with nowhere to go since her house was trashed and her roommate, who has lots of “bad people” after him, went missing. Bailee, whose arms are covered in cut marks and who recently attempted suicide, said she was too scared to live there.
Bailee – a former ice addict – moves in with Erin and her young boy, but the accommodation is not without its trials. Erin fears that a group of people are going to come around armed with knives and “bash” them due to a “money situation”.