Move over Tina Arena, it appears the Prime Minister has a new favourite Australian musician and social media users aren’t happy.
Move over Tina Arena, it appears the Prime Minister has a new favourite Australian musician and social media users aren’t happy.

Guy Sebastian ‘cancelled’ over appearance with PM

Pop star Guy Sebastian is facing backlash on social media after appearing with the Prime Minister for the announcement of the JobMaker package for the arts sector.

The singer and The Voice judge flanked Scott Morrison to announce the $250 million package aimed at creating jobs, however some Twitter users have decided to "cancel" the star for his link to the PM.

"Guy Sebastian just got political - and for me - he's on the wrong side," one user said.

Guy Sebastian was the top trending topic in Australia following his appearance.

Guy Sebastian joined the Prime Minister in Sydney to announce the package. Picture: Joel Carrett
Guy Sebastian joined the Prime Minister in Sydney to announce the package. Picture: Joel Carrett

One of the major criticisms of Sebastian's support for the package was that the successful mainstream star doesn't represent the struggling artists that need help from the government.

"Definition of Canberra bubble - Morrison thinks Guy Sebastian represents struggling musicians, producers, roadies, venue owners, hospitality staff," another user said.

A handful of Daily Telegraph readers have jumped to Sebastian's defence, saying this is another example of cancel culture getting out of hand.

"What don't the left like about someone representing the Arts and performers generally who is talented, articulate and a genuinely nice person? What would they have rather done? Have a bunch of no-hoper, can't make a quid out of their non existent talents represent them and just whinge?" one commenter said.

"Well done to Guy Sebastian, we need more like him," another commenter said.

"If social media cancels something, it sounds like something we should all support. So let's support Guy. Let's support Colonial Brewing. Let's support our country!" another said.

During the announcement at Rooty Hill in Sydney on Thursday, Mr Morrison said Sebastian "likes to sing" but also "loves to create jobs".

A mixture of grants and loans, Mr Morrison said the support would help get major shows like Harry Potter and Hamilton running once restrictions ease, which will have a flow on effect to thousands of people employed in the creative industry.

The PM said Sebastian “likes to sing and create jobs”. Picture: Joel Carrett
The PM said Sebastian “likes to sing and create jobs”. Picture: Joel Carrett

"The vast majority of people are working in this sector, and businesses, as we heard, effectively their revenue has gone to zero," he said.

"And the only thing that gets those jobs stood up again is the production starting again, and so whether it's Harry Potter down in Melbourne, or Hamilton coming (to Sydney) or any of these sorts of big productions … we will see, you know, tens, hundreds of thousands of people (back in jobs)."

Mr Morrison said the assistance was designed to get people back into jobs and the "show back on the road".

"This is about building back, this is not just about providing ongoing support, this is about getting the show back up and running," he said.

Australia's creative sector employs more than 600,000 people and injects $112 billion into the economy a year.

The JobMaker package includes a $75 million fund whereby production and event businesses can receive up to $2 million to stage festivals, concerts and tours as restrictions ease.

And major international movie studios would also get incentives to film in Australia once borders reopen, with tax offsets a possibility.

The federal government will also guarantee insurance for TV and film production by creating a $50 million Temporary ­Interruption Fund.

Opera Australia soprano Stacey Alleaume. Picture: Rob Leeson
Opera Australia soprano Stacey Alleaume. Picture: Rob Leeson

More than 238,000 people in NSW are employed in the creative sector, including carpenters and electricians, finance and project managers.

"These measures will support a broad range of jobs from performers, artists and roadies, to front of house staff and many who work behind the scenes, while assisting related parts of the broader economy, such as tourism and hospitality," Mr Morrison said.

The support package also includes $90 million in cheap loans for creative businesses trying to restart.

A further $35 million will also be handed to major government-funded art organisations.

A Creative Economy Taskforce will be established to advise the government on how to target the cash and other supports.

Mr Morrison said he would ask National Cabinet to develop a clear timetable for easing restrictions after entertainment businesses had told him they didn't have confidence to start planning events for 2021.

"We can't go, stop, go, stop, go, we can't flick the light on and off … that would be very difficult for the artists, the producers who are bringing together productions to have that uncertainty hanging over them," he said.

Opera Australia rising star soprano Stacey Alleaume said any support for her hard hit industry was welcome.

She has not been on stage this year, with her lead in La Traviata cancelled.

She did not qualify for JobKeeper because much of her income was earned overseas last year. "I think it's really wonderful (the government) has finally made a package to support the arts and entertainment industry."

Originally published as Guy Sebastian 'cancelled' over appearance with PM

All smiles … Picture: Matt Blyth
All smiles … Picture: Matt Blyth

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