‘Sad reflection’: Kruger sparks a storm after gold Logie win

Sonia Kruger's controversial comments on Muslims

Source: YouTube

Controversy has erupted after The Voice host Sonia Kruger was named a surprise winner of the 2023 gold Logie.

Australia’s TV industry’s night of nights wrapped up late on Sunday with Kruger named as winner of the all-important gold Logie for most popular personality on Australian television.

Kruger, who also hosts Dancing with the Stars and Big Brother on the Seven Network, is the first woman to win the coveted award since Carrie Bickmore in 2015.

She toppled the likes of winner Hamish Blake, Julia Morris, Leigh Sales, Mark Coles Smith, Osher Günsberg and Shaun Micallef to take home the gold statue.

But the 57-year-old’s victory was overshadowed by backlash online after comments she made in 2016 on Nine’s Today Show resurfaced.

At the time, with public debate riven with Islamaphobia, Kruger was asked for her thoughts on a column by News Ltd’s Andrew Bolt, who had drawn a link between Muslims immigrating to France and terrorist attacks there.

pictured is Sonia Kruger

Sonia Kruger flashes her gold Logie at the 63rd TV Week Logie Awards. Photo: AAP

Kruger said she believed Bolt had a point and that there was a “correlation between the number of people who, you know, are Muslim in a country and the number of terrorist attacks”.

“I have a lot of very good friends who are Muslims, who are peace-loving, who are beautiful people. But there are fanatics,” she told Today.

“Personally, I would like to see [Muslim immigration] stopped now for Australia.

“Because I want to feel safe, as all of our citizens do, when they go out to celebrate Australia Day.”

The comments sparked a complaint to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, which found in a 2019 ruling that Kruger had vilified Muslims.

“Kruger wants borders closed to Muslims, in that she’s implying that they are terrorists to dehumanise them,” Sam Ekermawi, a Muslim living in Australia, wrote in his complaint.

The comments also caused a social media storm at the time. On Monday, after Kruger’s gold Logie win, it reignited.

Outrage over Logie win

Many social media users were shocked or outraged that Kruger had taken a “most popular” title after her remarks.

The winner of the most popular personality on Australian TV at the #Logies this year is the same person who – four years ago – was found by a tribunal to have made ‘vilifying’ remarks about Muslim people. She said Muslims should be stopped from coming here so she could feel safe,” Tarang Chawla said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

And wanna know what’s the worst bit? Muslims and PoC don’t pose the biggest threat. Her comments stereotype and make out that certain groups should be feared and not trusted when those who are a genuine threat continue to harm all of us,” he added.

A video of the segment was shared widely online on Monday.

“What a redemption arc! Without, you know, any of that boring ‘actual redemption’ stuff,” someone said in response to a video from the segment that is put together with a scene from The Simpsons.

Given that the public votes for the gold Logie winner, many said Kruger’s victory indicated that Australia and its entertainment industry is racist.

“It’s a sad reflection on our society but what did you expect?” someone said on X.

Another contributed: “In 2019 (sic), Sonia Kruger declared she wanted to ban Muslim immigration because she was afraid. In 2023, she’s nominated for a gold Logie. Thanks, Australian mainstream commercial TV.”

Others defended Kruger’s win and said it was time for people to “move on”, as the remarks were from “years ago”.

In 2016, following the comments, Kruger said on social media it should be “vital in a democratic society to be able to discuss these issues without being labelled racist”.

The New Daily has contacted Kruger’s management for comment.

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