Immigration minister Peter Dutton has said the NRL should also allow a same-sex marriage “no” campaign song at the Grand Final this weekend, alongside a planned performance of US rapper Macklemore’s 2012 hit “Same Love”.
This week, a petition was started asking the NRL to take a neutral stance on same-sex marriage and calling for the scrapping of the performance of Macklemore’s pro-equality song at the Grand Final this Sunday.
“I am into free speech… presumably two songs should be played, one for gay marriage and one against gay marriage,” Mr Dutton told The Australian newspaper..
He told the publication the performance was creating an “interesting precedent” for future “social issues” being part of the code.
“The NRL might find in the next seasons people may want to promote social issues… what other social issues do they want to make in the years to come?” he said.
“I don’t think Australian parents taking kids to the footy want political messages down their throat.
“I think sporting events and work places are totally the wrong places for these political messages, people go to the AFL and NRL finals to see a game of football: they don’t want to be sold political messages.”
But in an interview on The Project on Thursday night, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull laughed off concerns about Macklemore’s performance.
He said: “He should perform whatever he wants to perform. I mean for heaven’s sake, it’s the halftime entertainment at the Grand Final. They’ve got a great artist, he’ll sing his top hits, that’s one of them. That’s great.”
“Trying to censor the playlist of the half time entertainment at the Grand Final isn’t consistent with taking a liberal approach to free speech.
“They’ve chosen an artist, he’s going to perform some songs, they’ll be popular songs, not everyone will like them, it doesn’t matter. That’s entertainment.
“I don’t think we should go around censoring playlists, let him play the song.”
Macklemore responded to the controversy by saying he would “go harder” and “love” despite receiving “a lot of tweets from angry old white dudes in Australia.”
“Same Love” topped the Australian music charts for four weeks back in 2012, and the renewed attention sent it to No 1 on the Australian iTunes charts overnight.
— The Project (@theprojecttv) September 28, 2017