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Oz’s ABC boycotts local awards

Broadcaster upset over private dinner for prizes

SYDNEY — Pubcaster the ABC is boycotting the Australian Film Institute awards, which honor film and TV achievements, because key TV laurels will be handed out at the private dinner rather than during the televised gala.

The pubcaster has also refused to fund its nominees’ attendance.

The AFI is moving TV awards including best comedy series, supporting actor/actress, children’s drama, direction and outstanding performance in a TV comedy to the dinner on Dec. 5, the night before the red-carpet event.

“We have not taken this decision lightly,” said ABC topper Kim Dalton. “The AFI alone has selected those they believe are the highest-profile faces to attend the broadcast, while other members of the team do not receive an invite to the dinner/broadcast. As we all know, making television is a team effort, and ABC TV cannot support this move which favors some over others.”

Dalton said he had spoken to the AFI, and they had failed to reach a compromise. The AFI awards will be broadcast on commercial broadcaster Nine on Dec. 6.

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