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.”


14 Responses

  1. Problem is that Arts and entertainment is often held indoors which is very unsafe. A better comparison would be with non essential retail, also indoors and shut down in half the country.. Tina can call it what she likes but Footy, arts, entertainment and retail is all business and the arts is only one of many things closed. I sympathise with Tina but question her comparisons.

  2. Yes she is correct. Well said. Well explained. As long as people can have their sports they will vote for the party that gives them that and not care about anyone else. As for p. newton it is the state politicians who locked down everything not the Prime Minister.

  3. She’s very right! There is a hypocrisy between sports and the arts being treated differently! It does need to change! Equal weight should be given to both cultures!

  4. Go Tina!!! Could not agree with her more! It is time to draw a line in the sand. I think sport is totally overrated in this country. Politicians unfortunately love to project an image that we are this beer swilling sports loving nation. While some may be, it’s time to stand up for the silent majority that think the arts are way more important and valuable than sport. The Arts are the only thing that truly represent and reflect a nations identity. Whatever can be done to raise arts awareness is a good thing.
    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a daily Arts segment on the news and treated with the same “seriousness” and respect that sport gets. Well the good news is that there is actually a push for this to happen and I believe it is being discussed behind the scenes. There is also currently a petition that “Arts are Newsworthy” you can look up and sign to help make this happen.

  5. Agree that the arts have been left out in the cold. But what the interview also unearthed was that Tina Arena is anti-lockdown in general – will we see her at a protest?

      1. “I am profoundly against being locked up. The injustice is just too much”. This isn’t just about not liking lockdown – of course none of us do. Spare a thought for staff and patients at overrun hospitals in Sydney and NSW where if there was no lockdown, hundreds if not thousands more would need to attend.

  6. I agree with her wholeheartedly. I find it ridiculous that people are allowed to attend sporting events, but not theatres? Theatres are safer than sporting arenas if you’re thinking about. People in the audience don’t shout in theatres. And I miss going to theatres!

    1. That is simply not true. In Melbourne where Tina lives, people are not allowed to attend sporting events. AFL is played to no crowds. I am sure Tina could do the same, book out the MCG and do a concert and do a TV deal.

  7. I’ve always found an air of insufferability around Tina Arena, but she’s standing up for her industry here and highlighting an absurd double standard. I agree with every word.

  8. Finally someone with half a brain. There is a big problem here. Why do people treat men who run on a field and throw or kick a ball around like god? They are not god. They should not be getting special treatment but they are. The arts and entertainment industry as well as tourism need this special treatment too. As Tina said the entertainment industry helps in times of need No one is helping them now, it’s just so wrong. IMO.

  9. She is not wrong is she, someone’s art is their sport, someone’s sport is their art. But obviously the powers don’t get the money associated with sport on TV from Ad revenue to betting agencies. As with many other industries the govt has ignored the theatre and arts world. Many not thinking that if they are not on stage they are your restaurant and cafe workers. So they have been hit on many sides.

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