Last night was a big win for diversity at the 2016 Logie Awards (equivalent to the Emmy’s in USA). For over forty years we’ve witnessed the Logies being so white, however this year we saw more diversity with Lee Lin Chin and Waleed Aly being nominated for gold. The results surprised us all with the Gold Logie being won by a Muslim Australian panel host of The Project –Waleed Aly!
Waleed’s victory speech was filled with emotion, considering the backlash he and other contender of colour Lee Lin Chin received before this awards night. His victory speech was a great opportunity to highlight the need for diversity in Australian TV, and his win is a step closer towards this cause.“Do not adjust your sets … there’s nothing wrong with the picture,” he told the audience at the Palladium Ballroom, Crown Towers, in Melbourne. “I’m sure there’s an Instagram filter you can use to return things to normal.”
He said the award mattered because people with names like Mustafa and Dimitri had struggled to find jobs in an industry dominated by white faces like himself. Mustafa went up to him and confessed that he had to change his name in order to be accepted in the industry.
“To Dimitri and Mustafa and all the other people with unpronounceable names like Waleed, I want to say one thing: that is that I am incredibly humbled you would even think to invest in me that way.
“But I’m also incredibly saddened by it, because the truth is you deserve more numerous and more worthy avatars than that.
“I don’t know if and when that’s going to happen but if tonight means anything … that is the Australian public, our audience, as far as they’re concerned there is absolutely no reason that can’t change.”
It was finally a great realisation for many, that Australia is no longer a white nation (on screen), but it’s a nation of diversity and social cohesion. Congratulations to Waleed Aly for breaking the so called ‘white’ stereotype and may this be the critical step forward for change and diversity on screen which is so needed in this country, in order to feel that we all belong, together.
Youtube / pictures courtesy of Channel 9