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Ray Hadley blows up at Guy Sebastian during clash over Covid-19 vaccine


Talkback radio host Ray Hadley clashed with Guy Sebastian live on 2GB on Tuesday morning after the singer publicly distanced himself from an industry-wide campaign calling on Australians to get the Covid-19 vaccine.

The #VaxTheNation movement is urging Aussies to get vaccinated in order to stop the cycle of lockdowns and help restart the live music industry.

Sebastian, 39, had endorsed the campaign on Instagram on Monday, but deleted the post just hours later after backlash from anti-vaxxers and uploaded a video apologising to fans – in a move Hadley described as ‘really weak’.

Hadley, 66, blasted Sebastian in a furious monologue, and later told the musician to his face he needed to ‘get off the fence’ during a tense on-air clash.  

Ropeable: Talkback radio host Ray Hadley (pictured) clashed with Guy Sebastian live on 2GB on Tuesday morning after the singer publicly distanced himself from an industry-wide campaign calling on Australians to get the Covid-19 vaccine

He said Sebastian’s ‘weak’ apology was appeasing anti-vaxxers who are keeping Australia locked down, saying: ‘Get the splinters out of your arse. Get off the fence.’ 

Before going head to head with Sebastian, Ray noted the Australian Idol winner had previously said he trusted the science and wanted to get vaccinated as soon as possible – but had now changed his tune.

He also pointed out that Guy hadn’t been financially impacted like other struggling musicians because of his lucrative role as a judge on The Voice Australia. 

‘Grow a set, Guy,’ he snapped. ‘Don’t [listen] those who are on your [Instagram] saying, “I’ll never listen to you again, won’t buy your CDs…” Grow a set, mate.

‘You’re better than that. That was a weak-kneed response, when the vast bulk of the people in your industry are desperate to get back to work, and the only way they get back to work is through double vaccination.

‘That was a really weak response.’

Change of heart? Sebastian, 39, had shared a post on Instagram endorsing the #VaxTheNation campaign on Monday, but deleted it just hours later after backlash from anti-vaxxers and uploaded a video apologising to his fans - in a move Hadley described as 'really weak'

Change of heart? Sebastian, 39, had shared a post on Instagram endorsing the #VaxTheNation campaign on Monday, but deleted it just hours later after backlash from anti-vaxxers and uploaded a video apologising to his fans – in a move Hadley described as ‘really weak’

When Sebastian called into the program to challenge Hadley, the talkback presenter stood his ground, saying: ‘I’m very disappointed in you, to tell you the truth.’

‘I’m equally disappointed in you, Ray,’ Sebastian replied.

The Angels Brought Me Here star insisted he’d only distanced himself from the #VaxTheNation campaign because he knows people who can’t get the vaccine for medical reasons. 

‘I think it’s a very false narrative and you’ve actually missed the point of what I’m saying. I haven’t said I don’t support vaccinations – I’m double-jabbed myself,’ he said.

'Get the splinters out of your arse': Hadley blasted Sebastian in a furious monologue, and later told the musician to his face he needed to 'get off the fence' during a tense on-air clash

‘Get the splinters out of your arse’: Hadley blasted Sebastian in a furious monologue, and later told the musician to his face he needed to ‘get off the fence’ during a tense on-air clash

‘My point is that there are people who I have personal relationships with that also fall into a category of consideration. I personally choose to be inclusive of people who have genuine reasons – I’m talking about teachers who’ve taught for 25 years that can’t teach, I’m talking about musicians and crew who have legitimate medical reasons why it’s a much more difficult situation.’

But Hadley said there was nothing in Sebastian’s apology video about people with legitimate reasons for not getting vaccinated, and ended the segment by telling the star: ‘I still think you’re wrong.’

He also warned that Sebastian was ‘trying to be all things to all people’ by getting the vaccine himself while pushing the ‘pro-choice’ argument on social media.

A post supporting the #VaxTheNation campaign had been shared to Sebastian’s Instagram account on Monday – he claims without his permission – and was soon swamped with abusive comments from anti-vaxxer conspiracy theorists. 

Sebastian deleted the post hours later, saying it had been uploaded ‘without my direct involvement’, then shared a bizarre apology video.

‘Hello, everybody. I just wanted to jump on here to clear something up,’ he said in the clip posted on Monday night.

‘I’m sure some of you today might have seen an industry call-out with the best of intentions for our live music industry, which is absolutely decimated, trying to find a pathway forward so we can all assemble together again.

‘I’ve always done everything that I can to support my industry but the campaign was posted to my page without my direct involvement. 

‘And while I, like everyone else in my industry, want things to get going again, it is not my role to communicate in the way that post was communicated.’

'I'm really sorry': A post supporting the #VaxTheNation campaign had been shared to Sebastian's Instagram account on Monday - he claims without his permission - and was soon swamped with comments from anti-vaxxers. Sebastian deleted the post hours later, saying it had been uploaded 'without my direct involvement', then shared a bizarre apology video

‘I’m really sorry’: A post supporting the #VaxTheNation campaign had been shared to Sebastian’s Instagram account on Monday – he claims without his permission – and was soon swamped with comments from anti-vaxxers. Sebastian deleted the post hours later, saying it had been uploaded ‘without my direct involvement’, then shared a bizarre apology video

‘I would never ever tell people what to do when it comes to their personal health choices,’ Sebastian added, in reference to the Covid vaccine.

‘I’m very sensitive of it, not only at a public level but even in my personal life with people who have had circumstances that they have to consider when making these choices.’

He continued: ‘I just want to say I’m really sorry. It was not a post that was communicated with love or compassion, which I feel is what’s needed when it comes to addressing things like vaccinations.

Backpedalling: 'I would never ever tell people what to do when it comes to their personal health choices. I'm very sensitive of it,' he said in reference to the Covid vaccine

Backpedalling: ‘I would never ever tell people what to do when it comes to their personal health choices. I’m very sensitive of it,’ he said in reference to the Covid vaccine

‘I just wanted to clarify that so that I could speak my truth and people know how I actually feel. So lots of love.’

Several fans expressed their disappointment after Sebastian withdrew his support for the campaign, with one tweeting: ‘Is he telling the industry he’s above #VaxTheNation?

‘Once his supporters aren’t allowed into a show there’ll be another backflip! Without the backbone it’ll make it easier for him!’

Perth alternative rock trio Shangrila also commented: ‘Love you Guy Sebastian and I know there’s no winning that fight for you (comments were crazy) but I wish you didn’t back out of this post man. #VaxTheNation.’

‘You know that there are celebrities worldwide who are promoting for everyone to get vaccinated. It’s not a bad thing, is it? #GuySebastian,’ another wrote.

One person tweeted sarcastically: ‘I’m surprised we didn’t send Guy Sebastian to the Olympics with our gymnastics team. What an incredible array of backflips and twists that young man can do in a row!’

‘You will make money off vitamins but you won’t promote community health? What sort of truth is this?’ another questioned.

However, some fans defended Sebastian, arguing he had every right to distance himself from the pro-vaccine campaign.

‘So courageous of Guy Sebastian, disagreeing with what the “woke” crowd group think! He’s gonna take a hammering for it,’ one supporter tweeted.

‘Much respect to you, Guy Sebastian. Thank you for speaking up. I have disabling neuro and cardiovascular conditions. I’ve thoroughly read and assessed the risks vs benefits of the injections VS alternatives. It is not in my best interests to take the injection,’ another said.

A third agreed: ‘Thanks Guy. I’m also double vaxxed. My husband who’s immune compromised is double vaxxed. But some cannot get vaccine through doctor’s advice. Respect that. They will still need to do what they can to protect themselves but that’s why everyone else gets vaxxed to protect the vulnerable.’

‘Leave @GuySebastian alone,’ another person commented.

Response: NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) was asked about Sebastian withdrawing his support for the #VaxTheNation campaign during Tuesday's Covid press conference. 'We need to rely on the health experts at this time,' she said

Response: NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) was asked about Sebastian withdrawing his support for the #VaxTheNation campaign during Tuesday’s Covid press conference. ‘We need to rely on the health experts at this time,’ she said

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian was asked about Sebastian withdrawing his support for the #VaxTheNation campaign during Tuesday’s Covid press conference.

A reporter asked: ‘Guy Sebastian came out criticising the vaccination campaign, and saying people shouldn’t be told what to do when it comes to vaccinations. He obviously has an enormous number of fans. Does this message concern you?’ 

‘Look, it’s a democracy and people have views,’ Ms Berejiklian responded.

‘You heard [Chief Health Officer] Dr Chant and myself talk about the importance of getting vaccinated and we need to rely on the health experts at this time. We don’t want to see anyone end up in intensive care or anyone lose loved ones.’

Reaction: Several fans expressed their disappointment after Sebastian withdrew his support for the campaign, including Perth alternative rock trio Shangrila who tweeted: 'Love you Guy Sebastian and I know there's no winning that fight for you (comments were crazy) but I wish you didn't back out of this post man #VaxTheNation'

Reaction: Several fans expressed their disappointment after Sebastian withdrew his support for the campaign, including Perth alternative rock trio Shangrila who tweeted: ‘Love you Guy Sebastian and I know there’s no winning that fight for you (comments were crazy) but I wish you didn’t back out of this post man #VaxTheNation’

Sebastian clarified in a statement to Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday that he wasn’t opposed to the Covid vaccine, but didn’t agree with telling people ‘what to do in regards to their personal health choices’.

The Battle Scars singer said: ‘There is no confusion, I made the personal decision to be double vaccinated. I support the music industry initiatives to revive our industry.

‘However, I personally don’t believe it is my place to deal in absolutes to tell people what to do in regards to their personal health choices.

‘We need to remember to communicate with empathy and understanding. This has always been my goal.’ 

Getting vaccinated significantly reduces your chance of becoming seriously ill with Covid, and health experts say widespread vaccine uptake is the only way Australia will end the cycle of lockdowns.

Guy (pictured with wife Jules) clarified on Tuesday he wasn't opposed to the Covid vaccine, but didn't agree with telling people 'what to do in regards to their personal health choices'

Guy (pictured with wife Jules) clarified on Tuesday he wasn’t opposed to the Covid vaccine, but didn’t agree with telling people ‘what to do in regards to their personal health choices’

More than 400 Australian artists and performers have joined forces to launch the #VaxTheNation campaign.

Powderfinger, Jimmy Barnes, Tim Minchin, Courtney Barnett, Celeste Barber, Vance Joy, Em Rusciano, Marcia Hines, Midnight Oil and Amy Shark are just some of the big names encouraging fans to get the vaccine to help restart the live music industry.

#VaxTheNation is an initiative created by the newly established LIVE (Live Industry Venues + Entertainment) alliance.

A campaign spokesperson said: ‘We all miss our loved ones – our friends, our family, and being able to gather again. We all want to get back to the magic of live events.

#VAXTHENATION is not a political campaign tied to any Government, and we welcome open conversation. The campaign is self-funded by the industry and the position of the LIVE Alliance (Live Industry Venues and Entertainment Alliance) is that high vaccination rates are the only way to get the show back on the road. We are encouraging people to seek professional health advice and make an informed choice.’

Campaign: More than 400 Australian artists and performers have joined forces to launch the #VaxTheNation campaign

Campaign: More than 400 Australian artists and performers have joined forces to launch the #VaxTheNation campaign



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