Entertainment TV Beating the rap: Malcolm Turnbull’s evasive clash with Waleed Aly over marriage equality vote

Beating the rap: Malcolm Turnbull’s evasive clash with Waleed Aly over marriage equality vote

Malcolm Turnbull
PM Malcolm Turnbull couldn't 'rap' his way out of butting heads with Waleed Aly. Photo: Network 10/The Project
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Malcolm Turnbull has bizarrely attempted to rap his way out of answering questions about the same-sex marriage postal vote, while also taking a swipe at his Liberal party rival Tony Abbott.

In a colourful live interview on Network Ten’s The Project, the Prime Minister defended rap artist Macklemore, who is set to play a pro same-sex marriage tune at the NRL grand final – something Mr Abbott wants banned.

Mr Turnbull argued that campaigning to censor the playlist of the American rapper and prevent him from singing Same Love would not be consistent with liberal values.

“I believe in free speech … let him play the song,” Mr Turnbull said.

“He should perform whatever he wants to perform. It’s the half-time entertainment at the grand final. They have got a great artist. He will sing his top hits, that’s one of them.

“Maybe not everybody will like them. It doesn’t matter. It’s entertainment.”

He added: “I assume Tony Abbott is expressing an artistic view. He is entitled to express a view.”

In a sudden change of tone, Mr Turnbull deflected questions by launching into his best hip-hop rhyme.

“Waleed, you’re the man, you’re the Tigers fan,” he rapped.

“You can talk, the Crows can squawk.”

When The Project host Aly attempted to shift the focus back to the same-sex marriage interview, Mr Turnbull replied: “Waleed, why are you such a downer? We are having fun. It is Thursday night. There are two grand finals.

“Everyone is here in Melbourne being happy and you want to be grim and torture this issue and go on and on and on about the song and should they play the song.

“You will talk about this song for longer than it takes him to sing the song. Seriously. This is really dull.”

Aly did not hold back in Mr Turnbull’s avoidance of the question and personal “attacks”.

“Why did you think Australia could have a civil debate when your own party couldn’t?” Aly asked.

“The reality is, a democracy operates by giving people their say,” Mr Turnbull said.

“I think the vast majority of Australians have embraced it with enthusiasm.”

Watch the video for Same Love below:

Abbott – ‘Sport is sport’

Mr Abbott tweeted on Wednesday that rugby league fans “shouldn’t be subjected to a politicised grand final (because) sport is Sport”.

“When people go to the grand final this weekend, all they really want to do is watch the footy. It’s as simple as that,” he told reporters at the Gold Coast the following day.

“Everyone has a right to express their opinion. The opinion that I expressed yesterday was that the NRL had made a poor call in doing what they did.”

He is not alone in this view. North Queensland MP Bob Katter has accused the NRL of “insulting” fans with their decision for half-time entertainment.

“If they [the NRL] take the most sacred day of the year, outside of Christmas, and use it to promote their sexual proclivities, that is an insult and an offence to every single follower of rugby league in this country,” he told ABC’s 7.30 on Thursday.

The tension adds to the ongoing war of words between the yes and no camps over a national survey on whether Australia should legalise same-sex marriage.

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