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Channel Seven's Sunday Night slammed for "racist" segment.

Channel Seven’s Sunday Night has been accused of “hate-baiting” over a “racist” segment that focussed on Melbourne’s “African gangs”.

The report alleged that the Victorian city had a serious problem with gang-related violence, but that “political correctness” was holding back police from admitting to it.

“African gangs running riot, terrorising, robbing, wreaking havoc,” reporter Alex Cullen said in his report.

“Yet we live in such politically correct times, the police have been loath to admit there’s even a problem — but there is.”

However, viewers from Melbourne and other parts of the country were quick to hit back and claim the segment was doing nothing but stirring up fear and hate for a section of the community.

Critics on Twitter began using the hashtag #NotMyAustralia to share their disgust at the program before and after it aired and instead offer positive messages to and of Australia’s Sudanese community.

Among them was radio host Meshel Laurie, who wrote that multiculturalism is valued by the Melbourne community.

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A branch of the Australian Labor Party described the segment as “fake news” and “un-Australian”. Meanwhile, lawyer and South-Sudanese Aussie Maker Mayek led the charge to boycott the channel and the program, successfully sending #NotMyAustralia into Twitter’s trending tags.

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Many criticised Channel Seven’s interview with a woman who was at a Toorak jewelry store robbed by a group of men, twice – not by denying her experience, but by questioning how much it added to the report.

“I don’t have a life anymore. These four walls is where I live. I’m too nervy. I can’t go to a shopping centre because if I ran into a coloured person I’d be having a panic attack again,” Elaine French said.

Others suggested that the footage featured in the episode was several years old, accusing producers of misleading viewers into thinking the violence was recent.

And another common criticism was that gang violence was hardly Melbourne’s or Australia’s biggest issue, what with dozens of women so far this year being killed by men, many of whom were their inimate partners.

Channel Seven is yet to publicly respond to the backlash.

This isn’t the first time the network has been caught up in race-related controversy.

In March this year, flagship breakfast program Sunrise featured an all-white panel discussing Indigenous children being adopted by white families.

The segment, including “offensive” comments by commentator Prue MacSween, was the subject of an Australian Communications and Media Authority investigation.

“It’s just crazy to just even contemplate that people are arguing against this,” MacSween said. “Don’t worry about the people that would cry and hand wring and say this would be another stolen generation. Just like the first stolen generation where a lot of people were taken because it was for their wellbeing …we need to do it again, perhaps.”

The show’s producers were also criticised for deciding to hide a protest over the segment being held outside the studio’s windows, normally visible on camera. Instead, previously captured footage of Martin’s Place was screened behind the hosts.

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