celebrity

Tom Gleeson's speech was funny. But Australia's biggest entertainers weren't laughing.

In 2015, when Carrie Bickmore won the Gold Logie, she wore a beanie on stage to raise awareness for brain cancer, a disease which took her first husband at the age of 35.

When Waleed Aly won the Gold Logie in 2016, he told the audience him winning mattered to a minority in the community that needed to see an Egyptian Australian muslim receive an accolade like that in a TV landscape that lacked diversity.

In 2017, Sam Johnson told a crowd of colleagues through emotional disbelief how proud his family would be of him.

Last year, Grant Denyer broke down in tears talking about how Family Feud [the show he won for] gave him a ladder to climb out of a dark hole that he wasn’t sure he’d ever recover from.

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Gleeson told the room to "lighten the f*** up." We think he might need to go back and listen to the past four speeches. To them, their win wasn't 'light'. Image: Nine.

Even if the world of free to air TV is dying, if the Logies are bit outdated and a bit silly, and if we sit in our lounge rooms and scoff at the pomp and ceremony - it's still important.

It's the only awards ceremony for Australian TV, and for most of the people sitting in that room on Sunday night, who spent years trying to make it into a highly competitive industry, it means a hell of a lot.

It's their moment to celebrate and commemorate their achievements. There's marketing awards, tourism awards, education awards, even bloody accounting awards. But we know the people in the TV awards and their success as stars hinges on us watching their programs, that's why we all get to vote and watch the result.

And yet, last night Tom Gleeson made a mockery of the whole event.

After winning the Gold Logie (which he didn't even want), he told the crowd: "For me it represents a joke but I love jokes. I really enjoy them. I really think we should all lighten the f**k up".

Here's some of his speech. Post continues after video.

Video by ABC
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But if you look at the speeches from the past four years that touch on cancer, diversity, acceptance, addiction and depression - you'll find there's a whole lot of stuff going on in Tom Gleeson's colleagues' lives and careers that just isn't really that light.

For the few hundred people sitting in that room last night at The Star Gold Coast, the Logies isn't a joke. It's their career, their livelihood and their passion. For many it's helped them overcome things, promote things that matter, and find their place in the world.

"Do you know what would have been more concerning? If I campaigned for this award sincerely. That would have been worse," Gleeson told the crowd.

The comedian ran a smear campaign in the weeks leading up to the event, taking the piss out of all of his fellow nominees. It worked.

"Turns out I'm just really good at manipulating the media to do things for me," he said last night in his speech. "So maybe I do deserve this award."

Gleeson's shtick is dickhead comedy. It's the premise of his show Hard Chat, which is the reason he won the Gold Logie. We get that.

We also get that the Logies is a popularity contest that does need to be steered back towards being more of a contest of talent, and that does deserve to get a bit of a ribbing.

But something about Gleeson's complete disregard for other people's feelings and his continual taunting sat uncomfortably last night.

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Tom Gleeson is the hero of many this morning after his performance at the Logies last night. But there's a very clear split between those that loved, and those that loathed his mocking of the event. Image: Getty.
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He opened the night with a monologue that basically replicated his ABC program and ripped on every star in the room.

Many people loved it and thought it was the funniest thing they'd ever seen at an awards show.

But for others it promoted bullying, and his below the belt jabs felt uncomfortable on primetime television.

In the lead up to the Logies, Gleeson's fellow nominees were already feeling a bit let down by his campaign.

"Tom’s like the school bully picking us all off. I’m not very good at it,” Gold Logie nominee Amanda Keller told Mamamia's No Filter.

"People have always laughed at the Logies. But at the same time, they are all we have for television awards," she said. “If the public vote for you, that’s a big deal and I wish people would let it be a big deal."

Grant Denyer said on his morning radio show on 2DayFM that he found the whole push to be "angry and aggressive".

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"I'm not a massive fan [of Gleeson's campaign]. It is our only institution and it's the only game in town for TV and while it's not important to everyone it's important to me," he told AAP.

When asked about his relationship with the other nominees, Gleeson told Mamamia's Clare and Jessie Stephens on the red carpet, "If I win I'll take Amanda Keller out to dinner and apologise".

So perhaps he did know he'd overstepped the line.

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Waleed Aly and Amanda Keller didn't seem overly wrapped by the speech. Image: Nine.

Yes, the Logie Awards need a 21st century refresh, and Gleeson certainly shone a light on that.

But his approach was pretty tactless and rude to those that did want that award, and wanted to make the most out of the only night they get to celebrate their craft as an industry.

Perhaps the biggest kick in the guts of the night was Gleeson's call to support his 'charity' Ticketek.

We can't help but wonder how Carrie, Waleed and Sam felt about that.

They all got up on that stage to support their respective causes, in Carrie's case she asked everyone on national TV to wear a beanie for brain cancer the next day (which they did).

But to Gleeson, all of that appears to be just another crude butt to the end of one of his jokes.

Read More from the Logies:

In an unexpected turn of events, Tom Gleeson just won the 2019 Gold Logie.

The Twins recap the Logies red carpet: We. Have. Lots. Of. Gossip.

The full list of winners from the 2019 Logie Awards included a few surprises.

"I never saw anyone like me." Dylan Alcott just became what he didn't see on TV as a kid.

Rebecca Harding's Logies diary shows what it really takes to get red carpet ready.

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