Last night Waleed Aly defined prior backlash from haters and took out his very first Gold Logie award for Best Personality on Australian TV, plus a Silver Logie for Best Presenter, coming out ahead of fellow The Project presenter Carrie Bickmore, veteran SBS journo/news presenter Lee Lin Chin, Essie Davis, Scott Cam and Grant Deneyer.
About a month back, just after the nominee’s were announced, a “well-placed TV insider” gave the selection a harsh review, saying that it wasn’t representative of the general tastes of the Australian public, despite being the most ethnically diverse spread in history. The unnamed provocateur attacked Aly personally, saying, “The Logies are an embarrassment. It is a complete joke. What has Waleed ever done? Because he does an editorial slapping someone down every now and then, does that qualify him for a Gold Logie? And is The Project successful? No.”
Despite the backlash, Aly went on to win the award last night, dedicating his Gold Logie to “Dimitri, Mustafa, and all other people with unpronounceable names like Waleed.” He went on to speak of a friend named Mustafa, telling a tale of how he had to once use a fake name to apply for a job. “He’s here tonight and it matters to people like him that I’m here.”
Other nods in the night included legendary Play School allumni Noni Hazlehurst, who was inducted into the Logies Hall of Fame after a career spanning 40 years. She’s only the second woman to have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Hazelhurst took the opportunity to make a stirring speech about the state of mental health amongst young children, about how “no child is born a bigot”, and imbalances in the state of the modern world:
“So here is my pitch: I’d love a channel that features nothing but stories that inspire us and reassure us and our children that there are good things happening and good people in the world. I know it’s a lot to ask for. But at the very least, a show that tries to redress this overwhelming imbalance, that counters bad news with good that encourages optimism not pessimism, that restores our empathy and love for our fellow human beings and the Earth, that redefines reality, that heals our hearts.”
“The fact that I’m only the second woman to be given this honour is merely a reflection of the prevailing zeitgeist,” she went on to say. “Things are clearly changing … but they’re changing glacially slowly.”
You can check out more of the action from the Logies via the ABC.