The Project hosts throw support behind Guy Sebastian: 'The pile on'

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The Project host Waleed Aly has come out in support of Guy Sebastian, after he deleted and apologised for a pro-vaccination post made to his account on Monday promoting the Vax the Nation campaign.

The campaign urges fans to get vaccinated so live music can return, something many artists have put their support behind.

Waleed Aly and Carrie Bickmore
The Project hosts Waleed Aly and Carrie Bickmore have thrown their support behind Guy Sebastian. Photo: The Project

However, Guy later took the post down and uploaded a video, saying he "would never, ever tell people what to do when it comes to their personal health choices".

The Project's Waleed Aly threw his support behind the singer, saying he “really, really feels for Guy” after the backlash from his comments. 

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“He seems to me a lovely guy who is being beset upon by people who are not that, and waded into an issue where he didn’t quite understand the polarisation it faces," Waleed said. 

Carrie Bickmore threw her hands over her eyes, saying: “The pile on … The whole thing gets so ugly.”

Guy Sebastian in apology video about vaccination post on his Instagram account
Guy Sebastian apologised for the Vax the Nation post that was uplaoded to his Instagram account. Photo: Instagram/Guy Sebastian

Meanwhile guest host Dr Vyom Sharma said Guy's post showed a “lack of understanding”.

“He talked about the fact that he doesn’t want to tell people what they want to do if they have some medical conditions that may prohibit them from getting the vaccine,” he said. 

“I can see his good intentions but unfortunately this shows a lack of understanding that if anything, if you’ve got lots of medical conditions, that should encourage you more than anyone to go get vaccinated.

“You are exactly the person who is at risk from COVID-19, exactly the person we want to vaccinate first.”

2GB radio host Ray Hadley lay into The Voice coach yesterday, saying he was "disappointed" in the star. 

Waleed Aly and Carrie Bickmore talking about Guy Sebastian on The Project
Carrie Bickmore called the backlash over his comments a 'pile on'. Photo: The Project

During the radio interview, Guy responded saying: “I’m equally disappointed in you Ray. I think it’s a very false narrative and you’ve actually missed the point of what I’m saying. I haven’t said I don’t support vaccinations – I’m double-jabbed myself.

"My point is that there are people who I have personal relationships with that also fall into a category of consideration. I personally choose to be inclusive of people who have genuine reasons – I’m talking about teachers who’ve taught for 25 years that can’t teach, I’m talking about musicians and crew who have legitimate medical reasons why it’s a much more difficult situation,” he said.

In his Instagram video, Guy said: "Hello everybody, just wanted to jump on here just to clear something up. I'm sure that today, some of you might have seen an industry call out with the best of intentions for our live music industry, which has been absolutely decimated, trying to find a pathway forward so that we can all assemble together again."

He continued: "I've always done everything that I can to support my industry but the campaign was posted to my page without my direct involvement and whilst I, like everybody else in my industry, I want things to get going again. It is not my role to communicate in the way that the post was communicating, I would never, ever tell people what to do when it comes to their personal health choices. 

"I'm very sensitive of it not only on a public level but even in my personal life with people who have circumstances that they have to consider when making these choices so I just want to say I'm really sorry.

"It was not a post that communicated with love or compassion, which I feel is what's needed when it comes to addressing things like vaccinations and so I just wanted to clarify that so that I could speak my truth and people knew how I actually feel, so lots of love."

Guy Sebastian performing live
Guy is still currently listed as a supporter on the Vax the Nation website. Photo: Getty

The Vax the Nation campaign has seen 400 of the biggest names in the Australian music industry including Tim Minchin, Jimmy Barnes, Amy Shark, Paul Kelly and the Hilltop Hoods encourage Aussies to get vaccinated to "stop the interruptions" and end the cycle of lockdowns. 

At the moment, Guy is still listed as a supporter on the Vax the Nation website.

In a statement to Yahoo Lifestyle, Guy said, "There is no confusion, I made the personal decision to be double vaccinated. I support the music industry initiatives to revive our industry, however, I personally don’t believe it is my place to deal in absolutes to tell people what to do in regards to their personal health choices. We need to remember to communicate with empathy and understanding. This has always been my goal."

The team behind Vax the Nation, which is spearheaded by the newly established LIVE Alliance (Live Industry Venues + Entertainment), also shared a statement with us, saying, "We all miss our loved ones – our friends, our family, and being able to gather again. We all want to get back to the magic of live events. #VAXTHENATION is not a political campaign tied to any Government, and we welcome open conversation. 

"The campaign is self-funded by the industry and the position of the LIVE Alliance (Live Industry Venues and Entertainment Alliance) is that high vaccination rates are the only way to get the show back on the road. We are encouraging people to seek professional health advice and make an informed choice. Head to our website to read more about informed consent.

The Vax the Nation campaign
The Vax the Nation campaign has seen 400 of the biggest names in the Australian music industry encourage Aussies to get vaccinated to "stop the interruptions" and end the cycle of lockdowns. Photo: Supplied

In response to Guy's post, singer Ben Lee, who is a supporter of Vax the Nation, tweeted: "To be honest, this is actually a really sad example of what happens when your career is dependent on trying to be all things to all people."

The Vax the Nation team, said in a statement announcing the campaign: "Australia has one of the world’s leading music and entertainment sectors. It’s not just vital to our economy and jobs; it provides a rich cultural fabric that connects us all. 

"From sweaty pub gigs to crying with laughter at a comedy show; being moved by an opera aria or diving into the festival mosh; taking your child to their first live show, marvelling at an intricate ballet, or sitting with loved ones in an ornate theatre... these are the moments we all want to get back to."

"With a target of 80% agreed by National Cabinet, the LIVE Alliance says vaccinations are not only important for overall public health but an essential step in stopping the ongoing and devastating effect to our live entertainment and events industry."

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Ben Lee shared a statement about vaccines to Vax the Nation, saying: "When I go to a gig, I trust the entertainer to keep the crowd happy. When I go to a restaurant, I trust the chef to give me a great meal. In a pandemic, I'm trusting scientists to keep us safe. It doesn't have to be complicated. Let's let science guide us and get the show back on the road."

Bernard Fanning added: "There aren’t many things we can control in the world at the moment. It’s pretty hectic out there with loads of competing information. For us it is pretty straightforward. Vaccination is the only way out of this for not just the live entertainment industry, but everyone. Back the science, back your community and especially its vulnerable members. Take control and get vaccinated."

Celeste Barber also shared her thoughts, saying: "We need to all be on board with looking after each other. We have the power to change things. The entertainment industry alone has been completely decimated by COVID and ongoing lockdowns. We want to get back to our jobs and entertain you, help you laugh, help you connect and get you dancing again. Vaccination is the way out of this. Get busy. Get vaxxed. Stay safe and let’s kick this thing in the d**k."

Ben Lee
Ben Lee has been vocal about trusting science to help us get through the pandemic. Photo: Supplied
Celeste Barber
Celeste Barber is also a supporter of the Vax the Nation campaign. Photo: Supplied

Conrad Sewell agreed, writing: "It is so important for everyone to get vaccinated, not only for their own health but the health of others. It’s been an extremely tough two years for our industry and our world as a whole.

"The vaccination is the only light at the end of the tunnel that can see us all return to a regular life, where we are free to enjoy the things we love like live music, sports and most of all just being with friends and family. Let’s get the job done Aus."

Social media users shared their support on the Vax the Nation Instagram page, with one user writing: "This makes me wanna cry tears of happiness! Bring it on! I'm double vaxxed and ready!"

"Love this concept," another said.

"Double vaxxed and ready to party!" a third wrote.

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