Ernie Dingo targeted by racial slur at Perth train station

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Kate EmeryThe West Australian
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WA actor Ernie Dingo
Camera IconWA actor Ernie Dingo Credit: Michael Wilson/The West Australian

WA’s most celebrated Indigenous actor, Ernie Dingo, has been involved in a violent incident in Perth after being called a “f***ing Abo”.

At a time when the black lives matter movement has put racism in the spotlight, the shocking incident at Perth Central station saw Dingo apparently urge the man to “say it again, give me an excuse to whack you” as he confronted him.

According to a social media post by Ngaarda Media, Dingo was waiting for passengers to disembark when a white man in his mid-30s came alongside him and called him a “f***ing Abo”.

The Facebook post quoted Dingo as saying: “I chased him and scruffs him ‘Say it again’ he is scared now & I whack him on the right side of his head, he slips & falls trying to get away, his foot falls between the platform & the train, I drag his a**e away from the edge, as he is laying there I ask again ‘Say it again, give me an excuse to whack you’ he doesn’t”.

Told by two other men that the man may have an intellectual disability, Dingo said “‘if he is gunna say that s**t to me, I’ll have a go at him’. I’m 63, I don’t take that s**t from anyone.”

When Dingo eventually got on his train a woman asked him if he was OK and he told her the stranger “should’ve known better”.

“I might make the news tonight, I’m sure it was captured on CCTV,” he is quoted as saying. “If it does, you heard it from me first & I wouldn’t have minded if I caught the next train rather than not do anything about it and be angry on the train.”

A spokeswoman for Dingo said: “Ernie thanks you for your interest, however has no further comment to make.”

A WA Police spokesman said: “At this stage, WA Police Force have not received a complaint regarding this incident.”

Dingo, who grew up in Mullewa and later Geraldton in WA, has been declared a Living National Treasure and received a General Division of the Order of Australia. His film and television appearances include The Fringe Dwellers and Bran Nue Dae and he hosted The Great Outdoors TV show for more than a decade.

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