Struggle Street – More like Bullshit Street

I'm not even going to make a joke about this

I’m not even going to make a joke about this

… What the actual fuck, SBS? I mean… What. The actual. Fuck.

Now, before I begin, I am going to go out and say that I grew up in Mt Druitt for a large portion of my life. Approximately from when I was born to just before I started High School. That’s about 12 years. Now, I know times have changed and I know that communities change significantly over time… But I’m sorry, this is just one thing that I honestly can NOT tolerate.

In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m talking about a… Excuse me, I need a moment… A “Documentary” on the life of a selected amount of individuals who are localized entirely within Mt. Druitt and who are going through difficult times. Now, this seems legit enough when you first hear about it. It’s addressing the struggles of families in the area who aren’t doing so well. Not a bad thing, right? Of course not. Mt. Druitt is known for having a collection of “Housos” and junkies and other types of undesirables, so perhaps this would break that stigma that Mt. Druitt is associated with and maybe, just maybe, give these people a chance to not be labeled as drugged up bogans.

… And then I saw the ad…

Immediately, my rage flares upon seeing this. As I’ve said, I’ve grown up in Mt. Druitt and it isn’t as bad as what most people will paint it to be. Apparently SBS have followed these selected people for 6 months, gathering footage. But, despite my protests about this show and how it portrays a negative image about Mt. Druitt, I choose to watch it. And once I saw all 3 episodes, my rage just exploded.

6 months worth of footage. SBS had 6 months of footage and we were treated to seeing scenes that were designed to shock the audience. It’s pretty evident what sort of route they wanted to go down. Drugs being abused constantly, violence, so much swearing that it’d put South Park to shame, were just some of the things that the audience got a glimpse of. However, despite all that, there were some compelling scenes, such as people talking about the hardships they faced in their lives. The struggles of bullying, mental illness, drug addiction, and such were addressed throughout the documentary, but that’s not my gripe.

No, no, my gripe isn’t entirely about how these select groups of people were basically filmed for 6 months and then had that footage edited to make them out to be drugged up bogans. My gripe is that this show was localized ENTIRELY within the confines of Mt. Druitt and painted a negative image over the WHOLE suburb, instead of those individuals.

What am I talking about? Look back at the ad. First scene you see is of Sydney. The Harbour Bridge, the beaches, people swimming… And then you flash-forward to a sign that says Mt. Druitt and then you see footage of bogans. THAT is what I’m pissed off about.

This does not represent the entirety of Mt. Druitt.

This does not represent the entirety of Mt. Druitt.

But some of you are probably thinking that I’m over-reacting, that I shouldn’t be so upset about this, especially since I don’t live there anymore. Well, you see, I’m upset because when I was growing up there, I knew people who couldn’t get jobs because they were from Mt. Druitt. Why? Because people had the idea that everyone from there was a troublemaker. I heard stories about how people had to lie on their resumes to even be considered for the job, because employers didn’t want someone from there working for them.

That’s INCREDIBLY disheartening to hear, because despite the area having the reputation that it does, there are people who grow up there who go on to do amazing things. For example, Triple M’s Mark Geyer grew up in Shalvey, which is withing the city limits of Mt. Druitt, and he’s a radio host who had an amazing career in the NRL. One of my friends who grew up down the street from me did a double degree at University and has a great job and is set to be married soon. Hell, I went to University and graduated as a Graphic Designer.

Struggle Street addresses NOTHING about those sort of stories, or even mention other suburbs. They focus ENTIRELY on Mt Druitt and as a result of that, that reputation of Mt. Druitt being a cesspool for troublemakers and druggies has just been intensified. And if you think that this is an over-reaction to how it’s being perceived in the general public, think again.

Comments made by people include:
“Mt Druitt is a hole. Just leave it to rot and let the bogans kill themselves off”
“So many bogans there Id never go”
“If the whole place has preggo bitches smoking dope, just cut the funding and let them all die”

And, of course, made by people who have never actually lived there or even seen the place in person. I’m sorry, but that’s not on. An entire suburb has been branded as a drug-infested bogan hole, and pretty much damned a new generation of kids to being labelled in a negative manner, purely based on their post-codes.

If Struggle Street truly wanted to make an impact and wanted to show the struggles of people who are doing it hard, show more than just one area. And don’t restrict it to areas like Mt. Druitt, Doonside, and other suburbs in the Greater West where that reputation is hanging already. Show places that are normally perceived as nice suburbs, where these sort of people live. Because living in Greystanes now, I’ve seen my fair share of Housos and bogans here, despite the area having a really good market value for properties and having nice big houses on well-kept streets.

A show that addressed the issue as a Sydney-wide problem, rather than just mentioning other places while focusing entirely on one, would’ve made a much bigger impact and would’ve opened more people’s eyes. Hell, show other places in Australia as a whole to show that this is a national problem, rather than a local one.

Instead, all they’ve done is given people more fuel to label the people of Mt. Druitt as “Typical Westie Bogans. All for a bit of ratings.

Thanks for that, fuckwits.

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