Australian Producers Trespassing On Native Lands Say They're Sorry

Here is a new one for the now-I’ve-seen-everything file: An Australian comedy series carries an onscreen “acknowledgement” to the native peoples of Australia.

The words appear onscreen in the show’s very first moments before the show begins.

The message is from Binge, the Australian streaming service where the sitcom, “Colin From Accounts,” premiered last December.

As noted in a recent TV Blog, the show starts streaming here in the U.S. on Paramount+ this Thursday. Paramount+ publicists provided a couple of episodes for preview.

“BINGE acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land on which this program was produced,” says this message posted at the start of this TV comedy that, from what I can tell, has nothing at all to do with issues related to the history and lives of Australia’s “First Nations.”



“We pay our respects to all First Nations people,” the message goes on to say, “and acknowledge Elders past and present.”

So, what brought this on? Perhaps, unbeknownst to the TV Blog, this kind of sympathetic messaging, in which an apology is offered for filming on location in Australia, has become de rigueur Down Under.

Perhaps it has evolved into an obligatory gesture for studios, producers and even streaming services to make sure their content carries these messages.

In “Colin From Accounts,” a man and a woman, both in their 30s, meet cute when she crosses a street in front of his car and flashes a bit of her anatomy that is generally covered in public. 

He gets distracted and hits a dog with his car, after which the two rush the injured animal to a vet’s office. 

Before you ask, yes, the show does carry a message about the dog too -- in tiny print at the very, very end of the end credits: “No animals were harmed in making this program.” These kinds of messages have been around for many years on TV shows and movies.

The two who meet in “Colin From Accounts” over a seriously injured dog are Gordon and Ashley (Harriet Dyer and Patrick Brammall, pictured above). 

She is a medical student who drinks too much. He owns a bar and craft brewery.

In Episode One, which the TV Blog watched last week, the comedy centered mostly on what the two would do about the dog -- how they would pay for its veterinary care and then, how to care for this dog whose hindquarters are now paralyzed.

Most importantly, which of the two would take up ownership of the dog and the responsibilities that come with it.

I have no idea where the show is filmed in Australia, but by the looks of it, the show is set in a tidy area of old houses, apartments and a coffee shop next door to the veterinary facility.

There is no way of knowing where, when, or even if native peoples ever populated this particular corner of Australia. 

In any case, no one in the show ever mentions it. Why? Because it has nothing to do with the show. 

“Colin From Accounts” starts streaming on Thursday, November 9, on Paramount Plus.

1 comment about "Australian Producers Trespassing On Native Lands Say They're Sorry".
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  1. John Grono from GAP Research, November 21, 2023 at 9:53 p.m.

    Adam, Colin is not my favourite show, but I would like to explain something to yiu.

    Recognition of our indigenoius and First Nation is pretty much universal for sports, meetings, gatherings, videos, movies etc.

    It has taken Aussies a long time to get used to it but it is now taken as de rigueur.   As an example, our AFL Grand Final (the equivalent of your Super Bowl) has an indigenous person welcoming the crowd (in both their tongue and our English) to the land they habitated on for 65,000 years.   They also generally do the smoking ceremony as part of the welcome.   And ... 100,000 people listen and then cheer loudly.   It has been one of the racial barriers that sport has conquered.   Proudly, creative work is also pro-active.

    I hope that explains what you seem to think is odd.

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