Typically, television presenter Waleed Aly attempts to bring a steadfast line of morality and critical thinking to the Channel 10 news panel show The Project. Last night, however, he made an awkward misstep and the audience is furious.
Here’s what went down:
Co-host Carrie Bickmore had just finished reading a story about a job advertisement, listed on Gumtree, for an administration role that stipulated no “bogans” or “rough people” need apply.
“Do you know yourself if you’re a bogan?” Carrie asked.
Fellow panellist Gretel Killeen told the group about a town in New South Wales with a “bogan statue”. She said: “If you’re not sure [you’re a bogan], you stand next to their statue [and compare yourself].”
There was laughter. The panellists agreed. The audience was happy. The show was about to move on, when Aly added a final jab.
“The other thing — if you are not taking bogans, where will you get good admin people?”
The response from viewers was swift and unforgiving.
“See, even really smart people can say REALLY dumb things – I wonder how he’s going to like sorting his own mail and getting his own coffee for the rest of his life,” wrote one Facebook commenter.
— Joaby Boaby (@joaby_boaby) February 13, 2017
@theprojecttv I’m a bogan is that why I can’t get work????????
— Ian Graves (@xskinn) February 13, 2017
@theprojecttv ummm did Waleed just say that? I work in admin and I am the antithesis of a Bogan. Get off your high horse.
— Dom (@myhandleonit) February 13, 2017
@theprojecttv Waleed if u ever want to meet with my boss, I will put u at the bottom of the priority list cause u think I’m a bogan ????
— ShpunkyLady66 (@ShpunkyLady66) February 13, 2017
#TheProjectTV Waleed. .what makes you think you are any better than a Bogan. ..
— Metal_J (@Metal_JT) February 13, 2017
Later in the show, Aly was given a chance to undo the damage when Bickmore asked if he had “anything to say to the bogans of Australia?”
“Should I clarify? In my head I was making the opposite point to what came out, the idea that admin people are bogans is ridiculous, but it came out the wrong way around,” he told viewers.
At last he confirmed, “I am a bogan”, after Killeen pulled him up for being “boganist”.
On a side note, here is an image of the “bogan statue” Killeen was referring to.
It stands a proud five metres tall, located in the NSW town of Nyngan. Notice the hair mullet, stubbies, singlet and a Southern Cross tattoo.