Tina Arena: “No more of your double standards”
Tina Arena calls out the imbalance between Sport & Arts and calls for better support for artists during the pandemic.
Tina Arena has spoken out in defence of the Arts community in Australia, as it continues to suffer across the pandemic.
Speaking to Studio 10, Melbourne-based Arena revealed she had struggled with ongoing lockdowns, but also delivered pointed commentary on a cultural imbalance.
“I also hate the differentiation between Sport and Arts in Australia. It’s now at a point where, for me, somebody needs to draw the line. So as the artistic community, we will draw the line in the sand now. We will say ‘no more of your double standards now,'” she said.
“Sport is a great thing, absolutely, we understand it. But life is not just about Sport, life is about Art and Culture. And Art and Culture play an equally important role. If not in my eyes, it’s an even more important role. But that’s my humble opinion and my perspective. And that’s just what I think and feel.
“So I would encourage the artistic community to come forward, which they are now. And I would also encourage, anybody else to start thinking straight now.”
Arena was also very vocal about the continued lack of support given to artists, many of whom had fallen between the cracks of government assistance during the pandemic.
Angela Bishop noted that concerts were frequently cancelled the day before they were due to be held, but never a football match.
“That’s a category disrespect,” Arena insisted. “I’m sorry. That’s rude, disrespectful, and shouldn’t be at all allowed to play out. That’s all I can say… never, ever silence an artist. We play an important role in any social fibre of any country. It’s expression. The freedom of expression, I believe in it, and I’ll fight for it till the day I die.”
Arena was also impassioned about the Arts supporting those in need, but insisted now was the time to return the favour.
“If anything ever goes wrong, within this country, the artistic community has always lifted their sleeves up. We’ve gone in there, we’ve done what we need to do, because we believe it. It’s a role we play. We’re very happy to play that role to help people. Absolutely. So that’s what we do.
“Now we’re in trouble. Is somebody helping us? No. It’s amazing how people just fly away and disappear. However, they’re very quick to ask us to help to work for free to relinquish any kind of remuneration, from work. From sales of records, from sales of this, from sales of that. You know what? Done! We’re done and now we’re saying it,” she insisted.
“Just stop this ridiculous, preposterous behaviour. It’s got to stop.”