Guy Sebastian told Today he didn’t understand the backlash. Picture: Channel 9
Guy Sebastian told Today he didn’t understand the backlash. Picture: Channel 9

Guy responds to fierce Scomo backlash

Guy Sebastian has jumped to defend himself after fans unleashed on social media yesterday to label his appearance at a political press conference a "damaging career move".

The star was "cancelled" after flanking Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the conference, nodding in agreement as Mr Morrison announced a $250 million stimulus package for the arts sector, which has been heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

But fans weren't impressed by the Sebastian's perceived foray into politics, calling him "the Scott Cam of the music industry" in reference to the celebrity tradie's appointment as the government careers ambassador.

Fronting Today this morning, The Voice coach Sebastian laughed as he asserted he had "no idea" why people were so upset.

Host Karl Stefanovic weighed-in, calling it "rubbish" and assuring the star he'd done "a great job" in supporting the industry.

‘You did a great job’ Stefanovic told the star. Picture: Channel 9
‘You did a great job’ Stefanovic told the star. Picture: Channel 9

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Sebastian, 38, earned the ire of fans yesterday after his surprising inclusion in the Prime Minister's announcement, during which the singer and Mr Morrison were full of praise for each other.

"Firstly, I would like to thank you guys, especially you Prime Minister, for listening … you really were, and that was evident the other day when we jumped on that Zoom call," Sebastian had said.

"You really did hear us out, you heard all the challenges we were facing."

Guy Sebastian’s afternoon with the Prime Minister rubbed many fans the wrong way. Picture: Joel Carrett/AAP
Guy Sebastian’s afternoon with the Prime Minister rubbed many fans the wrong way. Picture: Joel Carrett/AAP


His support of the Government's move didn't sit well with fans, with many jumping on Twitter to condemn him for being "used as a political prop" and losing touch with the struggling industry.

Others slammed the decision to use Sebastian, a "highly paid Channel 9 employee", to represent the arts in Australia.

"Guy this had nothing to do with you giving advice to an industry panel. It was the disappointment that came from you being used as a political prop for Scott Morrison. The same Scott Morrison that has left the arts and culture high and dry since this pandemic started," another posted.

Speaking on Today this morning, Sebastian appeared baffled by the strong reaction.

"It was a big day. Bigger than I thought," he began, shaking his head and laughing.

"Look, it was a great thing for the industry. I think it always helps to have a reaction happen so quickly. We met just last week with the PM and a lot of his staff and gave him a bit of an insight as to how I was personally affected," he said.

Guy Sebastian told Today he has ‘no idea’ why he was ‘cancelled’. Picture: Channel 9
Guy Sebastian told Today he has ‘no idea’ why he was ‘cancelled’. Picture: Channel 9

"My role was really just to relay that information to the Prime Minister and then I got asked the day before if I would be there as they announced that package. I took my bass player and he was stoked. Look, I think the sentiment amongst my band and amongst my crew and everybody else involved in my world were, I guess, they were really stoked and grateful."

Touching on the uproar, he went on to say he "definitely wasn't prepared".

"People cancelling me apparently. I have no idea why," he said.

"Why do you think people were so angry that you took part in that yesterday?" host Allison Langdon asked.

"Look, I really have no idea," he repeated.

Singer Guy Sebastian smiled and nodded along with the $250 million announcement yesterday. Picture: Matt Blyth/Getty Images
Singer Guy Sebastian smiled and nodded along with the $250 million announcement yesterday. Picture: Matt Blyth/Getty Images

"I mean, the Prime Minister's the one making the call and he was very receptive to everything that we were saying and I think we're in a position here where there is a lot of people suffering and they need a hand.

"Once JobKeeper ends in September and a lot of the mortgage repayments start again in November, what are my musos going to do, legitimately? They have got no option. So to have that help is great and I think we live in a pretty good country when you can sort of crack it at getting quarter of a billion dollars stimulus package," he said.

Stefanovic concluded with a cheeky quip of his own.

"Hey Guy, listen, just forget about it. Everyone knows it was a religious conspiracy," he said, referencing the Twitter speculation he was only chosen to speak due to his involvement in the Hillsong Church, given Morrison himself is a staunch Christian.

"It is complete rubbish. Just let it go. It is just noise. You did a great job," Stefanovic said.

Sebastian's appearance this morning comes after he issued a series of tweets echoing the same sentiment.

He assured fans his "heart is with my fellow musicians, crew, truckies, venue staff etc who are all seriously suffering right now".

He added that his appearance "wasn't a political alignment".

The saga is the second time Sebastian made headlines this week, following a nasty blow-up on The Voice that left a poor impression on fans.

Many viewers sided with fellow coach Kelly Rowland after a fight over contestants in the battle rounds played out, labelling Sebastian "rude" and "disrespectful" to one of his one contestants.

Rowland had walked off set in the closing moments of Sunday night's episode after a disagreement with Sebastian about two of his contestants.

Sebastian chose arguably this season's most distinctive contestant, Mongolian throat singer Bukhu Ganburged, to take on teammate Johnny Manuel for a battle round performance.

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Rowland felt the pairing was unfair to Bukhu, given his specific skill, and seemed designed to showcase Johnny talents.

Sebastian labelled her "disrespectful" as she stormed off set.

He later admitted he could have handled the situation better.

The pop star appeared on screens outside prime time yesterday as the Morrison Government unveiled a $250 million support package for Australia's arts and cultural sectors, including $90 million in government-backed concessional loans to fund new productions that will create jobs during the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Originally published as Guy responds to fierce Scomo backlash


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