Waleed Aly dedicates Gold Logie win to everyone with an unpronounceable name

Waleed Aly, co-host of Channel 10’s The Project, has taken out the coveted Gold Logie at the Australian Logie Awards on

Waleed Aly, co-host of Channel 10’s The Project, has taken out the coveted Gold Logie at the Australian Logie Awards on May 8 and in doing so has dedicated his win to everyone with an “unpronounceable name”.

There was much debate around Waleed’s nomination, and last night he spoke of the racism he’s experienced within the television industry and how his Gold Logie win will go a long way towards breaking down barriers.

In acknowledging his fellow Gold Logie nominees (fellow host of The Project Carrie Bickmore, Essie Davis, Lee Lin Chin, Scott Cam and Grant Denyer) Waleed said, “If you step back and look at those pieces assembled it’s a spectacular mosaic and we should celebrate that fact.”

But it was his reference to one particular person in the Crown Palladium ballroom in Melbourne who had changed his name just to get a job — and who Waleed respected by maintaining that person’s anonymity — that makes you question where the world is heading.

“There have been a lot of people in the past week or two who have made it clear to me that me being here right now really matters to them,” Waleed said.

“It matters to them for a particular reason.

“That reason was brought home … not so long ago actually when someone in this room … came up to me, introduced themselves and said to me, ‘I really hope you win. My name is Mustafa, but I can’t use that name because I won’t get a job’.”

As social media came to life with congratulations, many quoted Waleed’s opening lines of his speech, “Yes, this is happening”.

Logie Hall of Fame inductee Noni Hazelhurst, who gave a spectacular speech of her own, was seen with tears in her eyes as Waleed spoke. But perhaps it was fellow Gold Logie nominee Lee Lin Chin, who usually fills her Twitter feed with hilarious sarcasm, who captured the moment best with her heartfelt post.

“As much as I would have love to won the Logie, I would never have been as articulate as him. Australian TV needs more of you,” she wrote.

There were claims Waleed had ‘broken the glass ceiling’ by winning the award and others celebrated a restoration of faith in Australians, but there were also those who took exception to Waleed’s dedication towards those with unpronounceable names.

Is Australian television lacking in diversity?

  1. JB  

    Congratulations to Waleed! Great achievement. Didn’t listen to his whole speech…..too long winded and it was late.

  2. roy bridges  

    Congratulation to Waleed, don’t agree with a lot of what he has to say can be to far to left on many issue however man of many talents.

  3. Brigitte Gilbert  

    I love, respect and admire Waleed. His Logie win is well deserved and yes, even I was surprised that he came through! I would like to believe that he’s broken the mould and that Australians can hopefully see beyond the unfamiliar names and see the talents behind it and their contributions.

  4. Gypsy Chick  

    Waleed is a very worthy winner, level-headed and articulate, he has made a huge impact on racism. Why did you end the story with a trivial comment about his name?

    • Bob  

      Totally agree with you. I, too, wonder where “Starts at 60” is coming from. Racists under the bed? Perhaps from under the bed! If so, abslute shame on you from a supporter that may have to reconsider his position. Where to from here – White Australia!

  5. Barbara Peek  

    Congratulations Waleed ! Still amazes me how small minded & petty a lot of people are. Lee Lee Chin you would be the only other person I would have wanted to take it out maybe next year.

  6. Patricia  

    What a man.
    Sense of humour.
    Common sense
    A touch of humility
    And a logical talker to boot.
    Well dlne Waleed.

  7. When I was young Australian television was so dull, but we didn’t know. Now we are entertained and realise how dull it was. Dame Edna may have even liked it here.

  8. VAl Hosking  

    Congratulations Waleed ,we have watch and enjoy since finding you . Logie well deserved.

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