Viewers ‘disgusted’ by Struggle Street invasion
VIEWERS of SBS-TV'S Struggle Street have slammed the treatment of character Norma Boyd, after more than 20 police stormed and removed the single mum from her dilapidated Brisbane house.
Ms Boyd, 45, whose daughter was charged with a drug offence resulting in the Department of Housing revoking the family's tenancy and evicting them from their home in suburban Inala, was removed by Queensland police during the second episode of the controversial series.
Ms Boyd was forcibly shuffled down the front stairs of the Housing Department rental, which despite its peeling paint and ramshackle exterior is clearly a home Norma does not want to leave.
"I want my clothes, I want my clothes," she says. "Don't touch me, don't touch me.
"This is what it takes to remove me from my house," Norma says as she spills her coffee on the stairs in front of the police officer.
"A single black woman. I've done no wrong. What they do to first nation people.
"I'm lost ... it's an abuse of power."
Viewers of the series - which has been dubbed 'poverty porn' - were quick to jump to her defence, suggesting the "heavy handed" treatment of Ms Boyd and her family was "heartbreaking" and "shameful".
"Watched episode 2 of #StruggleStreet and it is heartbreaking too see so many uniformed officers arrive to evict Norma and see how distressed her lil boy was made me teary," one Twitter user wrote.
"I felt disgusted seeing all those police to evict the lady from her house & the huge waste of resources. Shameful," another added.
"I cannot believe the ridiculous number of cops that are there to evict Norma & her family. Unbelievable!"
In a statement provided to our sister paper news.com.au, a spokesperson for Queensland Police said they attended the property on June 13, 2016 at the request of the Department of Housing and Public Works to "execute a warrant of possession".
"Police resourcing is determined based on all available intelligence from a range of sources with the ultimate aim to ensure the safety of all attending officers and members of the public.
"On this occasion, police liaison officers also attended the address to assist.
"The operation was completed with no arrests or significant incident".
Following the series premiere on Tuesday night, viewers criticised the production for failing to help Melbourne man, Michael, attend his mother's funeral.
During the first episode of the six-part documentary series, viewers watched on as the former drug addict prepared for mother's funeral and were given a heartbreaking look into his life as he sat on the floor of his squalid accommodation, with tears running down his face.
Michael, 44, leaves his home and heads for the bus stop, but is met with upset and frustration as he fails to catch a bus.
Sobbing in the rain, he finally made it to the funeral 30 minutes into the ceremony, but many social media users questioned why producers failed to help him.
"Hang on, you are filming a man who has to get a bus to his Mothers funeral and you think "keep rolling, great TV" instead of "mate, let's get a cab, we'll film the rest later," one person said.
Is it more important to film homeless man than to actually drive him to his Mums funeral #dizgusting," another said.
Struggle Street returns tonight at 8.30pm on SBS.