Matt Okine's ARIAs speech mattered. So why didn't it make it to air?

Where is the recognition for women in music and comedy?

That’s what comedian and Triple J breakfast host Matt Okine was asking after he took the stage to accept the Best Comedy Release award at last night’s Arias.

“I’d feel bad if I didn’t make a point about something, something I feel a bit weird about,” Okine said.

“I don’t think there was any women like nominated at all in the comedy category just then. I don’t think there’s any women who are like featured artists on tonight’s show even.”

Watch the whole speech here:

Video via ARIAS

He then said Tina Turner instead of Tina Arena, quickly correcting himself, and as the audience laughed he responded “this is serious you guys”.

“Other than [Arena] there’s a couple of featured guests but it’s like there’s no one you know, and I’d feel stupid if I didn’t use this opportunity to say that.”

Okine also said he it would be “fine” if he got in trouble for the speech.

“But I didn’t feel great reading that list of people and just seeing… I know everyone’s a great artist but anyway, look, the fact of the matter is thank you so much for everything, I really appreciate that.”


Okine said he hadn’t planned the speech, and finished by saying: “My rant is over guys, cheers.”

Okine’s speech didn’t make it into Channel 10’s broadcast of the awards, with his win back-announced after an ad break.

The omission caused a lot of controversy on Twitter, with viewers angry at the network.

He later told reporters that the situation had made him feel silly.

“I thought, hold on there’s no women in my category. Now I feel silly about it,” he said.

“People might say that’s something you would say for attention, but I feel like, ‘what should I do, just be passive’?”

He also said men needed to do more.

“A lot of guys my age think you’re doing enough by not doing anything bad.”

Since the award was introduced in 1987 no woman has ever won an Aria for Best Comedy Release.

In the past 10 years no woman has even been nominated.

Check out all the best looks from the ARIAs red carpet here.