Guy Sebastian defends appearance at Morrison press conference: “I am a musician, not a politician”

Twitter users criticised the musician's support of the relief package announced today

Guy Sebastian has defended his decision to stand behind Prime Minister Scott Morrison as he announced the Federal Government’s $250million arts sector relief package earlier today (June 25).

Sebastian was one of two musicians – the other being Mark Vincent – included in talks with the government and other industry groups earlier this month.

Following the conference, Sebastian’s name trended on Twitter in Australia, with users criticising him for supporting a government measure that, according to the arts union and political opponents, falls short of what the sector needs to survive and recover post-pandemic.

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In a statement to NCA Newswire, Guy Sebastian defended his involvement, saying he was a “musician, not a politician”.

“My attendance today at the press conference was to provide perspective of the deep-seated economic hardship that has crippled the entertainment industry due to the COVID pandemic,” he said.

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“The whole industry from tech crew to musicians and all those that consult to the entertainment community are in serious need of stimulus. The objective of my involvement today is to support my colleagues and industry at large.”

Sebastian was, however, praised by APRA AMCOS for representing musicians during the relief package’s consultation period. The organisation also commended the government’s efforts to offer tailored relief for the sector.

“We commend Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Arts Minister Paul Fletcher for listening to the concerns of the sector and acknowledging the unique and devastating impact the pandemic is having on the artists, businesses and workers in our part of the cultural economy,” chief executive Dean Ormston said in a statement today.

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