Sunrise executive producer reveals his biggest regret from the show

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The Sunrise gaffe that kept Michael Pell ‘up at night’: Departing executive producer reveals his biggest regret as he prepares to move to Los Angeles

Departing Sunrise executive producer Michael Pell has revealed one of his biggest regrets from his 11-year tenure at Seven’s top-rating breakfast show.

Pell, 39, told TV Tonight a controversial debate about Indigenous adoption ‘kept him up at night’ after it led to complaints and protests.

‘The thing that devastated me about that whole episode is that it gave an impression to people who this issue mattered to that we didn’t care… That’s what hurt me the most,’ he said.

Regrets: Departing Sunrise executive producer Michael Pell (pictured) has revealed one of his biggest regrets from his 11-year tenure at Channel Seven's top-rating breakfast show

Regrets: Departing Sunrise executive producer Michael Pell (pictured) has revealed one of his biggest regrets from his 11-year tenure at Channel Seven’s top-rating breakfast show 

‘The whole thing was regrettable,’ he added.

Pell continued: ‘It’s something that kept me up at night and it probably is one of the biggest downsides of the past decade.’

In 2018, Sunrise was slammed for using a ‘generic’ backdrop of Martin Place when protesters interrupted a broadcast outside the Sydney studio.

Regrets: Pell (centre) told TV Tonight a controversial debate about Indigenous adoption'kept him up at night' after it led to complaints and protests

Regrets: Pell (centre) told TV Tonight a controversial debate about Indigenous adoption ‘kept him up at night’ after it led to complaints and protests

That demonstration was held in response to a segment in which host Sam Armytage discussed Aboriginal adoption with two panelists.

Protesters were outraged because the panel did not feature any Aboriginal people, and because of specific comments made during the discussion.

Critics argued the views expressed on air advocated for a policy similar to the Stolen Generations, which saw Indigenous children forcefully taken from their families.

Pell stepped down from Sunrise last week to take up a new position with the network in LA, where he will be Seven’s ‘talent scout’ in the U.S. sourcing new formats.

'The thing that devastated me about that whole episode is that it gave an impression to people who this issue mattered to that we didn't care... That's what hurt me the most,' he said

‘The thing that devastated me about that whole episode is that it gave an impression to people who this issue mattered to that we didn’t care… That’s what hurt me the most,’ he said

His job title will be Senior Vice President, Entertainment Content, North America.

Pell did not appear on screen during his final day at the breakfast show on Friday – despite having done so when he celebrated 10 years at the helm in November 2020 – but the on-air team did pay tribute to him with a photo slideshow on Thursday.

Several behind-the-scenes photos were shown, including snaps of Pell schmoozing with A-list celebrities and posing with the presenters at Brekky Central.

New gig: Pell stepped down from Sunrise last week to take up a new position with the network in LA, where he will be Seven's'talent scout' in the U.S. sourcing new formats

New gig: Pell stepped down from Sunrise last week to take up a new position with the network in LA, where he will be Seven’s ‘talent scout’ in the U.S. sourcing new formats

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