‘I will never forget what Sonia Kruger said about Muslims’

Sonia Kruger’s Gold Logie win and continued success must be examined in light of her past comments about marginalised Australians, TV-lover and communications professional Adam Rida writes.

The Logie Awards serve as Australian TV’s most prestigious event, celebrating excellence and the industry’s impact.

The recent gathering at The Star in Sydney to celebrate talent across the industry was a much-needed moment after a challenging few years.

But Sonia Kruger’s Gold Logie win should be evaluated given her past comments about marginalised Australians because they have not forgotten the impact and hurt those comments caused.

As a long-time observer of the Australian TV industry, I have been both dismayed and hopeful, finding intense fascination in its evolution. With all its imperfections, TV has been a crucial support during dark periods in my life, helping me navigate issues of religion, ethnicity and sexuality in modern Australia.

In recent years, Australian TV has started to reflect the diverse Australia I encounter daily, moving away from the prevalent representation of young, attractive Anglo-Saxons that dominated the 1990s and earlier.

An early example of this positive transformation was the emergence of Salam Cafe in 2008. The show, starting on community television and later airing on SBS, showcased intelligent, hilarious and insightful Australian Muslims discussing issues in an approachable and entertaining manner, providing representation and connection for many over a misunderstood group.

Despite low viewership and limited discussion in wider circles, it played a crucial role in launching talented individuals like Waleed Aly, Susan Carland and Nazeem Hussain, who have since made significant impacts on the industry.

Eight years later and Waleed Aly’s historic Gold Logie win in 2016 was a pivotal moment for diversity in the industry.

However, this progress was marred by Sonia Kruger’s comments on The Today Show a few months later, where she supported a call for a complete ban on Muslim immigration, implying a correlation between Muslims and terrorist attacks. Though criticised by the Muslim community, her comments were largely ignored and diminished by powerful figures within the industry who continued to promote her.

Kruger’s later negative comments also extended to a scholarship program for LGBTQIA+ high school students, labelling it as “reverse discrimination”, displaying a lack of understanding of marginalised Australians with different experiences.

In 2019, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal deemed Kruger’s remarks on Islamic immigration as “vilifying,” highlighting the need for her to engage with these communities with understanding and humility.

Regrettably, neither Kruger nor the Nine Network acknowledged or responded to the Tribunal’s findings or her earlier comments.

If Kruger had made these comments in other western countries, would more significant consequences have been imposed? It really does underscore the importance that the industry should address these issues more seriously rather than hope people forget and move on.

After these comments went unchecked, her star continued to rise, particularly after her transition to Seven in 2019, where she now hosts several flagship reality shows – Big Brother, The Voice and Dancing With the Stars.

What does Kruger’s Gold Logie win say about the Australian media industry and their view of marginalised Australians?

Does this result symbolically diminish the voices of the marginalised groups she has made comments about, leaving them ignored in the industry while those in power promote individuals who align with outdated views of Australia?

This lack of progress may be contributing to the exodus of younger Australians from free-to-air television to streaming platforms that better represent their lived experiences.

While I do not advocate for Kruger’s cancellation, I firmly believe there should be consequences and acknowledgment of her past comments and actions. It is crucial to respond to legitimate concerns and move forward without being fuelled by fear or ignorance.

I want to see this enhanced spotlight on Kruger lead to a resolution that acknowledges the hurt cause by Kruger’s actions and felt by some of the most marginalised groups in our society.

Ultimately, the Australian TV industry needs to make genuine progress to truly reflect a modern Australia and Kruger’s promotion is symptomatic of a wider problem. This entails promoting diverse voices on FTA television through inclusive casting for reality tentpoles, embracing diverse hiring both behind the scenes and on-air and having  executives who represent the modern Australia we all live in.

We can draw inspiration from countries like the United States and United Kingdom, where despite their polarised society, significant progress in these areas has been made.

By doing so, we can build a more inclusive and representative television landscape that resonates with a diverse audience.

Adam Rida is a corporate communications specialist and a television enthusiast.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.