Australian Broadcasting Corporation
May 23, 2018
By Julia Baird
The white Styrofoam heads stand on shelves in neat, solemn rows in a little-used backroom of the ABC. Their faces are devoid of colour; blank, anonymous, unknown.
These mannequin skulls hold the national broadcaster’s collection of wigs; long blonde bobs, smooth brunette locks, ginger beehives, afros, mullets, perms, and shaggy manes.
Over the decades, these wigs have been fixed to the heads of Australian actors and comedians for skits and dramas and children’s shows.
Sometimes TV producers also borrow them for stories where interviewees need to keep their identities hidden, for legal, safety or other reasons.
Which is what we did when reporting on women in church communities who experienced decades of domestic violence, and wanted to speak to us but needed their identities protected. They didn’t want violent ex-husbands to hunt them down and seek revenge, or to expose their children to shame or suffering.
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