Portugal. The Man cancels Australian TV appearance due to controversial segment about indigenous policies

Alaskan-grown rockers Portugal. The Man canceled a television appearance with an Australian television channel due to a controversial segment the station aired about the nation's policies toward indigenous people.

The band was scheduled to appear Wednesday morning on Australia's Channel Seven morning show "Sunrise," The Guardian reported. Instead, Portugal. The Man posted a statement on social media Tuesday saying they "do not want to be part of that show at this time."

Gadigal elder Uncle Allen Madden, an aboriginal leader from Sydney, was set to welcome the band to their Tuesday evening show, the post said.

The controversy surrounds a segment about Australia's "Stolen Generations" — around 60 years during which indigenous children were forcibly removed from their homes due to government policies — that aired on the station in March and is under investigation by an Australian broadcasting watchdog, according to The Guardian.

One commenter on the segment said the policy had been in place for the children's own well-being, and that "we need to do it again perhaps," The Guardian reported.

Several erroneous statements were aired without correction during the segment, the Guardian said, including the claim that indigenous children could be placed only with other indigenous families. No indigenous people were included on the panel.

Months of protest have followed the segment, an Australian news site reported.


Portugal. The Man, a rock band originally from Wasilla, was signed to Atlantic Records in 2010. In January, the band won a Grammy award for best pop duo/group performance for their song "Feel It Still."

"We come from rural Alaska and hold very close to our hearts the indigenous people of our home," the band said in its statement.

Channel Seven told The Guardian in a statement, "We respect the band's decision and wish them well on the remainder of their Australian tour."

[Check out all of ADN's coverage of Portugal. The Man]

Laurel Andrews

Laurel Andrews was a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska Dispatch News and Alaska Dispatch. She left the ADN in October 2018.