For many viewers, the 2018 TV Week Logie Awards felt like a fairly disappointing reflection of where Australia’s television industry stands in the current social climate.
While the Golden Globes had women wear black to shine a light on gender inequality, the Oscars had Ashley Judd shouting “Time’s Up!” on stage, and Cannes film festival had a powerful silent protest, the Logies’ only acknowledgement of the widely publicised allegations of abuse and assault within the entertainment industry came in the form of a) the accidental repetition of the words ‘I love Don Burke’, and b) a “comical” performance of ‘Can’t Touch This’.
While the attendees of Australia's 'night of nights' have been overwhelmingly quiet about the criticism, comedy duo Hamish and Andy spoke openly about the moments that "missed the mark".
The day after the Logies, they were interviewed on The Australian's podcast Behind the Media, and were asked directly about the backlash to Bert Newton's jokes. The 79-year-old attracted the most controversy for his reference to Graham Kennedy "mentoring" young people in his dressing room with the door locked, but also used the outdated, offensive term 'poof', and made the assumption Waleed Aly's wife had converted to the Islamic faith for her husband - which isn't the case.
"In my opinion, he's absolutely said the wrong thing," Andy said. "And even if it's a joke, it's not a joke that we have these days."
"I don't even subscribe to the old, 'Back in those days it was fine'. Nup, we've just got a new standard, and he missed the mark.
"Does it stain Bert forever? Nup. [But] is it a chance to maybe educate him, or educate others, on why it was the wrong thing to say? Yep."
The 37-year-old continued, "That's what's been happening in the last kind of two years, which I think has just been great for the industry. Sure we have outrage, but a chance to further educate as to why these comments are no longer relevant and never should have been. It's a good thing."
Hamish reiterated Andy's sentiment, telling interviewer Stephen Brook, "It's obviously very, very sad that someone like Bert, a legend, fresh off a standing ovation, is at the centre of that, and there's no other way to put it, he made a poorly thought out comment. We don't know what he was thinking."
Hamish and Andy were also asked about the moment they 'rescued' Dave Hughes from his slightly controversial opening monologue, where he announced he loved Don Burke.
"It doesn't even really qualify as a brain fart," Hamish said. "It's almost like a verbal go-to for him while he's just putting himself in neutral to think of his next joke."
The Mamamia Out Loud team unpack why the 2018 Logies felt so uncomfortable.
Laughing, Andy described the comedian's demeanour when he came off stage. "I went up to him and he went... 'I just said I love Don Burke,' and then he burst into tears laughing in a weird kind of hysterical way."
"He was manic," Hamish added. "I said, 'did you have an out of body experience? Did it occur to you that you were standing on the stage, at the Logies, coast to coast, live, no delay, saying, more than once, I love Don Burke?'"
Quickly, it was established that Dave Hughes definitely does not love Don Burke, and Hamish and Andy offered to 'clear it up' on stage.
"I don't think anyone thought that he loved Don Burke," Andy said, acknowledging that most people accepted the awkward wording for what it was - a genuine mistake.
As big names in Australia's TV landscape, Hamish and Andy's comments are a powerful indication that Australia, too, is experiencing a cultural shift in the entertainment industry - even if it didn't translate on the night of the Logies.
It's conversations about what is and isn't acceptable that will hopefully allow the future of Australian TV to reflect a changing set of values.