The American band, who are in the country for Groovin The Moo festival, announced the cancellation on Instagram, writing, “We do not want to be apart of that show at this time.”
“We come from rural Alaska and hold very close to our hearts the Indigenous people of our home,” they said.
“While we are by no means experts in your countries history we know there are problems that, like ours, are yet to be resolved and only being amplified by the recent statements on Sunrise.”
Read their statement in full, below.
In March, during a segment with two non-Indigenous guests, regular Sunrise guest Prue MacSween suggested that “white families be allowed to adopt abused Aboriginal children”.
“Just like the first Stolen Generation where a lot of children were taken because it was for their well-being, we need to do it again,” she said.
The comments sparked protests, which involved Aboriginal groups storming the show on multiple occasions, protesting both the controversial segment and the Commonwealth Games’ treatment of Indigenous issues. Sunrise has also attempted to block the protesters out of their telecast.
Portugal. The Man play one of a number of Groovin The Moo sideshows in Sydney tonight. They indicated in their statement that they would be welcomed to the stage tonight by Uncle Steve Madden, who is a Gadigal man from the Eora nation. The Gadigal originally inhabited the land where the band’s Sydney venue is located.
Sunrise is yet to address Portugal’s last-minute cancellation.