Guy Sebastian says he ‘was used as a prop by the Government’ after being criticised for endorsing Scott Morrison’s Covid arts funding rollout
Guy Sebastian has expressed regret over his role in promoting the Federal government’s controversial arts funding program.
The Australian Idol winner, 39, stood alongside Prime Minister Scott Morrison last June to help announce a $250million emergency relief package for the arts sector.
Regrets: Guy Sebastian (pictured behind Scott Morrison in June last year) has expressed regret over his role in promoting the Federal government’s controversial arts funding program
‘I was trying to support something I believed would make a difference. And it hasn’t,’ the singer-songwriter told the Herald Sun.
Guy revealed he had asked for regular updates on initiatives promised by Mr Morrison, ‘but no one seems to have followed through on their words’.
Following sustained criticism of the funding, Arts Minister Paul Fletcher recently announced the ‘Creative Economy’ Covid support package had been increased to $430million.
During the interview, Sebastian also denied claims he was out of touch with the reality of struggling musicians thanks to his ongoing, highly paid television work.
The Voice coach said he’d witnessed his own band members 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 he ‘was used as a prop by the Government’. Pictured in March
He also spoke about copping online criticism for aligning himself with Mr Morrison.
Tweets at the time called Sebastian’s support of the government initiative a ‘career-damaging move’.
One fan said she wasn’t ‘surprised about Guy Sebastian supporting Scott Morrison – given he has a Hillsong past’.
The Prime Minister is a high-profile member of the Christian megachurch, and Sebastian is also known for his Christian faith.
No gains: ‘I was trying to support something I believed would make a difference. And it hasn’t,’ the singer-songwriter, 39, told the Herald Sun. 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 affected our industry.
‘I asked my band and crew for their perspective, I shared their reality and mine with the PM.
‘My heart is with my fellow musicians, crew, truckies, venue staff etc. who are all seriously suffering right now.’
Slammed: Tweets at the time called Sebastian’s support of the government ‘career-damaging’
Same basket: Some aligned Sebastian with Mr Morrison because of their shared Christian faith
The six-time ARIA Award winner added: ‘I stood there with one of my musos to show gratitude for their quick response.
‘I don’t have any input into where the money goes, and of course there is always going to be a question of whether it is enough, however, the purpose of me being there was to be a voice for the people directly affected in my world.
‘This wasn’t about political alignment or anything of the sort and of course I wasn’t paid to be there, I just know there’s a lot of people suffering so my hope is that it gets to the people who need it the most.’
Birds of a feather? The Prime Minister is a high-profile member of the Christian megachurch, and Sebastian is also known for his Christian faith