Waleed Aly has won the 2016 Gold Logie for best personality on Australian Television.
In his acceptance speech, the co-host of Network Ten’s The Project said he was “claiming” the award for the Muslim community, and told a touching story of a man in the TV industry who had admitted his name was Mustafa but he concealed it from colleagues in order to keep his job.
Aly, who was born in Melbourne to Egyptian parents and is a Sunni Muslim, joined The Project in 2015. In the short time he has been with the program his has earned a reputation as a provocative, sometimes polarising, and regularly intelligent voice in the Australian media.
“There have been a lot of people in the past week or two, who have made it really clear to me that me being here right now really matters to them, and it matters to them for a particular reason, and that reason was brought home shudderingly not so long ago when someone in this room — I’m not going use the name that they use in the industry — they came up to me introduced themselves and said to me: ‘I really hope you win, my name’s Mustafa but I can’t use that name because I won’t get a job’. He’s here tonight. And it matters to people like that that I’m here,” he said.
“To Demetri, Mustafa and everyone else with an unpronounceable name like I don’t know, Waleed, I really just want to say one thing. I’m incredibly humbled that you would even think to invest in me that way, but I’m also incredibly saddened by it because the truth it is that you deserve numerous and more worthy avatars than that. I don’t know if and when that’s going to happen but if tonight means anything — and I don’t know if it means anything — but if tonight means anything it means the Australian public, our audience, as far as they’re concerned there is absolutely no reason why that can’t change.”
Watch his speech here in full here.
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