SUNRISE'S coverage of the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast was disrupted by a massive protest at their sunny Gold Coast set.

A crowd of at least 40 people gathered at the beach behind the presenters' outdoor set, demonstrating the show's decision last month to discuss Aboriginal adoption on a Sam Armytage-led Hot Topic segment which they said had spiralled into "blatant racism".

While the show struggled to move forward amid the chaos this morning, protesters chanted: "Always was, always will be Aboriginal land," before adding, "Sam Armytage, we are still waiting on an apology."

The hosts struggled to continue and be heard while the protesters chanted.

 

Protesters descend upon the set of Sunrise on the Gold Coast.
Protesters descend upon the set of Sunrise on the Gold Coast.

Armytage and co-host David Koch eventually addressed the increasingly distracting situation just after 8am.

"We support and respect anyone being able to protest and get their view. Happy to have them here, and to express their view, but we have to be a bit careful with language and aggression," Koch explained as the protest grew louder behind him.

"As regular viewers would know, we have lots of families and kids here. It's school holidays in Queensland, it's the Commonwealth Games, and while we respect everybody's right to protest ... there are a lot of families on holidays."

"We have to be very careful with some of the language going to air. I do want to point out that the original segment that sparked this was that children are at risk, not about land rights ... just keep that in mind," Armytage chimed in.

The hosts addressed the drama unfolding behind them. Picture: Channel 7
The hosts addressed the drama unfolding behind them. Picture: Channel 7

During an ad break, Koch turned around to the protesters and said: "Do your homework".

Armytage also took a swipe at Nine when the rival network's crews arrived to cover the story.

"Big clap for Channel Nine, it's the only way they can get some ratings on TV," she sniped when off-air.

Protesters are pictured on Kurrawa Beach as they disrupt the Commonwealth Games broadcast of Sunrise. Picture: Twitter
Protesters are pictured on Kurrawa Beach as they disrupt the Commonwealth Games broadcast of Sunrise. Picture: Twitter

Sunrise sports reporter Mark Beretta appeared visibly distressed, and attempted to reason with the crowd.

Meanwhile, the protesters in the background chanted: "Shame on Scumrise".

One protester said to the others: "When they're not on the air you should save your voice, when they countdown to go on the air that's when we're going to get loud."

When a girl in the audience said something to Armytage, she smiled and winked at the girl.

This then caused the protesters to yell "Samantha are you scared of us"?

"Sam if you don't say sorry, we're going to write a letter and get you sacked and Ernie Dingo is taking your job," another protester said.

 

The protest grew momentum as the hosts struggled to continue with the show. Picture: Twitter
The protest grew momentum as the hosts struggled to continue with the show. Picture: Twitter

Protesters were also furious about Sunrise ignoring their chants to sign their Aboriginal flag. After criticising what Armytage was wearing and making jabs about her weight, an Aboriginal woman suggested, "Maybe you should put on our flag".

When news.com.au asked a handful of protesters if an apology from Sunrise would bring an end to it, one of the women piped up and said "it wasn't about that".

"This is about us using the Games as a platform to remind everyone that they're here on stolen ground, off the backs of colonisation."

The elder in charge of the protesters eventually managed to encourage the group to leave but when a woman heard Armytage say they had been nasty, a group of them turned back.

"Nasty? You're nasty," they screamed.

The group also yelled at Armytage that they were "coming for her in her dreams".

A Queensland Police spokesman said: "Queensland Police respect the rights of people protesting lawfully and peacefully in Queensland."

Eventually, the group left, but not without a final threat: "See you tomorrow, Sam!"

The pressure from the elders meant the group left in record time, with an officer asking if they had enough buses to get back to their camp.

The elder thanked the police officer and said they were leaving.

It meant, in less than one ad break, the furious crowd had been replaced by families decked out in green and gold, happily waving at the camera and chanting Aussie cheers.

Once the protesters had left to return to their camp at The Spit, Koch and Armytage turned to the crowd.

"Sorry about that," both of them said.

"Sometimes you've just gotta stick it out," Armytage added, before the hosts spoke to the crowd, asking them where they were from and joking around.

Channel Seven declined to comment further when contacted by news.com.au.

When a similar protest erupted outside their Martin Place studio in the days following the segment, Sunrise was slammed for seemingly going to extraordinary lengths to hide it from their audience.

As the crowd - and volume level - grew, producers closed soundproof blinds in the studio, and broadcast old overlay of the show's Martin Place backdrop behind the hosts.

Following the backlash, Channel Seven issued a statement on why the protest had been blocked from broadcast and a "generic" backdrop was used.

"We respect the right to protest as much as we respect the right of free speech," A Channel Seven spokesman said.

"Some of the group were holding offensive signage, and some began banging on the window and mouthing obscenities.

"To ensure regulatory compliance, and bearing in mind the potential for young children to be watching, the decision was made to use a generic backdrop."

The protest grew momentum as the hosts struggled to continue with the show. Picture: Twitter
The protest grew momentum as the hosts struggled to continue with the show. Picture: Twitter


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