Guy Sebastian says he was ‘used as a prop by the government’ after being criticized for approving Scott Morrison’s Covid art funding rollout
Guy Sebastian has expressed regret for his role in promoting the federal government’s controversial art funding program.
The Australian Idol winner, 39, stood next to Prime Minister Scott Morrison last June to help announce a $250 million emergency aid package for the arts sector.
Behind every great man: Guy Sebastian (pictured behind Scott Morrison last June) has expressed regret for his role in promoting the federal government’s controversial arts funding program
“I was trying to support something that I thought would make a difference. And it’s not,” the singer-songwriter told the Herald Sun.
Guy revealed that he had requested regular updates on the initiatives promised by Mr Morrison, “but no one seems to have followed through on their words”.
After continued criticism of the funding, Arts Secretary Paul Fletcher recently announced that the ‘Creative Economy’ Covid aid package had been increased to $430 million.
During the interview, Sebastian also denied being out of touch with the realities of struggling musicians thanks to his ongoing high-paying television work.
The Voice coach said he had witnessed his own bandmates struggle without access to the promised government funding he himself endorsed.
“I’m not speaking from an uneducated platform,” said the Malaysian-born star.
Warm prop: Guy now admits that he was ‘used as a prop by the government’ in an interview with the Herald Sun. Pictured here in March
He also spoke of taking online criticism for aligning himself with Mr Morrison.
Tweets at the time called Sebastian’s support for the government initiative a “career-damaging move.”
One fan said she wasn’t “surprised that Guy Sebastian supported Scott Morrison, given he has a Hillsong past.”
The Prime Minister is a prominent member of the Christian megachurch and Sebastian is also known for his Christian faith.
No gain: “I was trying to support something I thought would make a difference. And it isn’t,” admitted the singer-songwriter. Pictured here with wife Jules in March
Sebastian said in a statement at the time: “Last week I was asked to join a panel of industry leaders to give our Prime Minister and his team some insight into how this pandemic has impacted our industry.
“I asked my band and crew for their perspective, I shared theirs and mine with the Prime Minister.”
‘My heart lies with my fellow musicians, crew, truckies, hall staff, etc. who are all having a hard time right now.’
The six-time ARIA Award winner added: “I stood there with one of my musos to show gratitude for their prompt response.
“I don’t have any input into where the money goes, and of course there will always be a question of whether it’s enough, but the purpose of my presence was to be a voice for the people directly involved in my world.” .
“This wasn’t about political alignment or anything and of course I wasn’t paid to be there, I just know a lot of people are suffering so I hope it reaches the people who need it most. ‘