ABC radio presenter hits back at Auntie over ‘unlawful termination’

Journalists at the ABC have threatened a walkout amid concerns over the dismissal of Antoinette Lattouf.

Journalists at the ABC have threatened a walkout amid concerns over the dismissal of Antoinette Lattouf. Photo: Instagram

An ABC radio presenter who was abruptly sacked on Wednesday has hit back at the national broadcaster, claiming she was “terminated unlawfully” from her job.

Award-winning journalist Antoinette Lattouf was filling in for ABC Sydney’s Mornings host Sarah Macdonald who is on leave, but was reportedly sacked on Wednesday afternoon.

An ABC spokesman said in a statement Lattouf, a casual presenter, “will not be back on air for her remaining two shifts this week”.

Lattouf responded to her sudden employment termination on social media.

“I am very disappointed by the ABC’s decision today,” she wrote on Wednesday.

“I believe I was terminated unlawfully. This is not a win for journalism or critical, fair thinking.

“I’m currently considering my legal options.”

Earlier this week Lattouf had excitedly posted to Instagram about her plum fill-in gig.

“Join me on ABC Sydney mornings this week 8.30am – 11am filling in hosting for the fabulous Sarah Macdonald,” she shared.

Several media outlets report that Lattouf was sacked over her social media posts relating to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

In recent times she had questioned reports that pro-Palestinian protesters at the Sydney Opera House in October had been chanting ‘gas the Jews’.

On December 13, Lattouf co-authored an article for Crikey questioning the authenticity of a viral video circulated by the Australian Jewish Association that purported to show some of the protesters crying the potentially criminal chant.

The article was headlined: “Viral footage showed protesters chanting ‘gas the Jews’. Nobody can verify it”.

It stated that “police and independent fact-checkers have been unable to verify whether the chants happened”.

“Despite the enormous amount of attention and considerable response to the reports, third parties have been unable to verify the ‘gas the Jews’ claim, and further footage corroborating the chants has failed to emerge.

Crikey has reviewed other footage from the protest captured by other attendees but has been unable to find any corroborating the AJA’s claim.”

Just this week, Lattouf was interviewed for a Women’s Agenda article about high-profile female journalists being targeted by the tabloid press.

Lattouf told the publication she was seeking advice from defamation lawyers following a Herald Sun article suggesting she was a “useful idiot for jihadists”.

“It seems like an orchestrated attempt to bully critical thinking and fact checking out of the craft of journalism,” she told Women’s Agenda.

“Nowhere is this more obvious than around reporting of and discussion of Gaza.

“I will continue to report and comment without fear or favour, especially when so many innocent lives are at stake and there’s so much hate and division in Australia.”

Lattouf’s ABC profile shows she is a multi-award-winning journalist, author, columnist and media commentator and the co-founder of Media Diversity Australia, a non-profit organisation that aims to increase cultural and linguistic diversity in the media.

She is also a former ABC News reporter.

“She’s worked in television, online and radio at Network 10. SBS, ABC and triple j,” states her online profile.

“She’s been a guest commentator on ABC’s Q&A, The Drum, SBS Insight, Sky News, Network 10’s The Project, Studio10 and The Feed and writes columns for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian, Women’s Agenda and Mamamia.”

In 2022, Antoinette became a co-host of Listnr’s daily news podcast The Briefing.

Lattouf’s first book How to Lose Friends and Influence White People was published by Penguin Random House in May 2022. It is described as a “witty and approachable anti-racism guide that uses warmth, humour, and research to share evidence-based solutions that can be used by anyone”.

Lattouf also gave a TEDx Sydney talk in 2022 titled “Reverse discrimination doesn’t exist, but tokenism does”.

In 2019, she was named among the Australian Financial Review‘s 100 women of influence.

In 2021 she was awarded a Women’s Agenda leadership award. In 2022, she was a Third Sector awards influencer of the year finalist.

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