Russell Crowe was right about the Logies

Aletha Wilkinson
Acting Head of Lifestyle

This year’s Logies were different from previous years’ in some ways, the most obvious being that they were held on the Gold Coast instead of Melbourne.

But in many, many other ways, Australian TV’s night of nights was just more of the same.

More women looking pretty and twirling to show us their gowns.

More male presenters making jokes. A cavalcade of pale males – one after another they were wheeled out on stage to hold court, confident in the belief they were right where they should be.

It wasn’t that there were no women on stage. It’s just that the men were so dominant.  We had Dave Hughes opening the show, Tony Martin doing the voiceover work, Shane Jacobson badgering the guests, Hamish & Andy on stage more than once… the voice of the Logies was overwhelmingly male.

The #metoo movement doesn’t seem to have registered with the Nine Network yet.

Grant Denyer, a man whose show was so unpopular, it was axed due to low ratings, won the Gold Logie. Photo: Getty Images

Nothing illustrated that truth more than Bert Newton’s speech, which went down a path that wasn’t so much risqué as hopelessly out of touch.

After using a gay slur, Bert went on to imply that his former colleague and friend, Graham Kennedy was a serial sexual harasser.

“He enjoyed giving young people a chance on television, he was a great mentor, he mentored a lot of young people,” Bert said.

“You knew if you went to his dressing room it was locked, he will be inside doing some mentoring.”

The reaction on Twitter was swift.

And that wasn’t the end of the Logies’ unrelentingly male focus. When 60 Minutes was inducted into the Hall of Fame, Jana Wendt may have been a participant in the celebration – but much was made of how unusual it was for her to have been hired in the first place. How far we’ve come, seemed to be the message.

How far, indeed.

By the time the Gold Logie presentation rolled around, it was obvious to anyone with a brain stem that Australian TV’s worldview is woefully skewed.

Because Grant Denyer won it. In a year when much-loved television veterans Tracy Grimshaw and Amanda Keller were up for the gong – either of whom would have richly deserved it – it went to a man whose show was so unpopular, it was axed due to low ratings.

Much-loved TV star, Amanda Keller, was also up for the gong. Photo: Getty Images
Television veteran Tracy Grimshaw, who walked the red carpet for the first time in nine years, missed out on the coveted trophy. Photo: Getty Images

Hearteningly, it was a white, middle-aged male who first drew attention to the fact that this hilarious joke was actually a travesty, with Russell Crowe going into bat for Tracy and Amanda hours before the awards broadcast.

Russel Crowe took to Twitter before the show started to voice his opinion. Photo: Getty Images

While Rusty’s had his own failings of masculinity in the past, he made an excellent point.

Yes, it’s funny to laugh at the Logies. And sure, they’re the daggy down-under cousin of the Emmys. But it’s also true that they’re our biggest TV awards ceremony, and when Tom Gleeson started orchestrating his campaign to make Denyer win the top prize, he robbed Tracy and Amanda of the opportunity to take a win for the women.

And that’s a loss for all of us.

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