[News] ABC to delay Israel Folau documentary

The ABC has “rescheduled” a planned documentary charting the rise and fall of controversial Wallabies star Israel Folau.

The ABC has decided to reschedule a documentary about controversial former rugby union player Israel Folau.Credit:AP

The ABC documentary traces the career of Israel Folau, the former Wallabies star who kickstarted a political and ideological storm with his homophobic tweets first posted during the marriage equality campaign and which led to his sacking by Rugby Australia in 2019.

An ABC spokeswoman said: “We are still working on the Folau documentary and clearing footage which has meant pushing it back in our schedule. A new transmission date will be announced shortly”.

Folau is directed by Nel Minchin whose credits include Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra and Matilda & Me, a behind-the-scenes documentary about the stage musical by her brother, Tim Minchin.

Director Nel Minchin’s ABC documentary intended to explore both sides of the Folau story.

Director Nel Minchin’s ABC documentary intended to explore both sides of the Folau story.

The two-part documentary intended to take a holistic view about Folau the person, while also examining the ramification his actions had on culture, faith, sexuality, politics, and sport.

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Part one focused on Folau’s devout Christian upbringing in the Pasifika community, before exploring his meteoric rise through two football codes: rugby league and rugby union. Part two centred on Folau’s controversial social media post that led to his sacking by Rugby Australia, as well as the legal battle that followed.

Several high-profile guests were slated to appear including Salesi Tupou, the Folau family’s Mormon bishop, Toutai Kefu, coach of the Tongan national team for which Folau now plays, former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika and rugby player Samu Kerevi.

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