The Logie Awards has defended the inclusion of Ian Thorpe: The Parkinson Interview as a nominee for Most Outstanding Public Affairs Report despite the fact the host is UK, and it was filmed in the UK with British crew.
Under Logie eligibility rules the entry “must be an Australian production and feature a predominantly Australian production team, including presenter, reporter, producer and crew.”
A spokesperson for the Logies told TV Tonight, “The Ian Thorpe interview with Michael Parkinson was a co-production between Parkinson Productions and Sports & Entertainment Limited, an Australian company. The interview was the brain child of Network Ten Executive Director of News and Current Affairs, Peter Meakin and Ian’s agent.
“Ian suggested he would be comfortable speaking to Michael Parkinson, therefore Parkinson Productions were brought on as a Co-Producer. The interview was therefore eligible for inclusion in the category.”
But while it will compete with Four Corners, The Feed, Australian Story and Insight it does risk setting a precedent that an internationally-produced project that partners with an Australian management company is deemed equal to those manned by Australian presenters, cameramen, audio and floor crews.
Last month the ASTRA Awards similarly pitted international titles such as Deadliest Catch and Louis Theroux: LA Stories in the same categories as locally-produced productions. Where international budgets and talent can upstage more humble local offerings it’s hardly a fair fight. Really, what’s the point?
With the exception of a separate international category, local awards shows should be about celebrating the stuff we make. Not them.
Parkinson Productions did not respond before deadline.