‘Bert just put his foot in it’
PEOPLE are divided over Bert Newton's appearance at the 2018 Logie Awards.
The TV legend, 79, took to the stage at the Star Casino on the Gold Coast to rapturous applause before launching into a lengthy and at times very funny monologue - but a few of his comments raised eyebrows with audiences at home.
He said that younger viewers might see him on screen and ask "Where has this old poof come from?"
Later on during his speech, Newton spoke about his late, great friend Graham Kennedy, offering up innuendo-laden anecdote about the TV legend, who was famously guarded about his sexuality.
"He enjoyed giving young people a chance on television, he was a great mentor, he mentored a lot of young people. You knew if you went to his dressing room it was locked, he will be inside doing some mentoring," he said, an eyebrow raised as the audience gasped.
People on Twitter were quick to express their displeasure at his use of the word "poof" and his further comments which fell a little flat in the midst of the powerful #metoo movement.
"F*ck you Bert Newton for using a homophobic slur and f*ck everyone who laughed," wrote @cinegirl14.
Don't use the word poof, ever. It's not funny & as a gay man who grew up in regional Queensland - had it directed to me as a teenager, full of poison. It hurts to hear. #TVWeekLogies— Brent Davidson (@Brentus88) July 1, 2018
Despite his comments drawing the ire of some viewers, Newton received a standing ovation, proving not everyone took umbridge at his words.
Many on social media also loved his rare appearance on their TV screens.
Speaking to media afterwards, Newton was asked about his comments. He said "I meant nothing untoward".
Newton wasn't the only one raising eyebrows with his banter on Sunday evening.
"Give it up for Tracy Grimshaw, guys. 30 years, nominated for gold. And also her Don Burke interview has been nominated as well. That was amazing. We have a lot of revelations from that. We got the revelation that Don apparently has Aspergers. No-one knew about that. Including his doctor. No, I love Don Burke. I love Don."
At this point, with the audience groaning, Hughesy backtracked about his "love" for Don Burke.
"I don't love everything about him. Alright? Now I've taken myself to weird zone. Sorry."
Later in the night, Hamish and Andy took to the stage and discussed the gaffe.
"We did just have a chat to Hughesy out the back. He would like us to clear up one detail: He does not love Don Burke. In fact, I don't know if we have got any of the cricket instant replay, but I think he said it four times. The old, 'I'm Hughesy and I will say I love the person I'm having a go at', it has never backfired before and it did in that instance."