Last nights Q&A was entitled “Is Shakespeare still relevant?”
Within minutes, panel member, Gamillaroi/Torres Strait Islander woman Nakkiah Lui had hijacked the discussion and appeared to be questioning whether aboriginal voices were being sufficiently heard. Later, she appeared to be discussing her Twitter war with Pauline Hanson and the fact that she was bullied at school because she was fat. It all appeared self-indulgent and rather incoherent. She managed to dominate a fair proportion of the program.
She is clearly a passionate and committed activist and she would certainly argue that she should take every opportunity to argue her cause. I don’t think she did it well last night. Last night was more about Nakkiah than anything else. It wasn’t interesting. It wasn’t well articulated. It was simply self indulgent.
Then the panel got waylaid into a discussion about the cancel culture and whether a building at University Of Edinburgh named after philosopher David Hume could be renamed.
Paul McDermott managed some incoherent nonsense about being a proud Australian.
John Bell, Artistic Director of Bell Shakespeare and the many people who sent in questions about the relevance of Shakespeare must have been angry and frustrated that the advertised topic was not given a fair hearing.
Grant did little to keep any of the panel members, who clearly saw appearance on Q&A as an opportunity to get there personal views a free airing, under control. Why does the ABC persevere with him?
You could almost hear Bell grinding his teeth in frustration as Lui continued herself self-indulgent ramblings.
So it was a night of it hobby horses being taken for a canter.
It’s long been a problem with that Q&A can be hijacked by the panel members. Politicians are particularly prone to this particular behaviour. It does nothing to enhance the intellectual quality or entertainment value of the program.
The quality of the program has declined since Tony Jones left and leaving the role of moderator in the hands of Stan Grant is a very bad idea. He is too opinionated to be a good host for such a program.
Unfortunately, he is indicative of the general decline of interviewing talent on the ABC and combining him with the worn out format of Q&A is a disastrous combination.
Time to ring the changes.