It started to go downhill when Sophie Monk struggled to get off the back of the tractor driven by Ali’s Wedding star Osamah Sami on stage at Wednesday night’s AACTA Awards.
But that was a dream entrance compared to what followed as they presented the best comedy actor award.
Both presenters struggled with the script, which took a pot shot at Australia’s white-dominated film and television industry and fell flat – badly.
The exchange went something like this:
Sami: “You know who Sophie is – she is a superstar of Australian television. I’m here to fulfil the diversity quota.”
Monk: “I don’t know what diversity means.”
Sami: “Sophie, it’s a little bright in here. It’s not the lights – it’s just a lot of white people. Somewhere, someone is watching through their television right now going, ‘Wow, I just paid … bugger me dead, I just paid six grand for this television and it shows no colour’.”
Monk: “Is that a bit racist?”
Sami: “It’s a go at the industry who doesn’t give a sh–t about diversity.”
The camera then cut to three female Indian actors – who later collected an award for best Asian film – one of whom was clapping his comments.
“Thank you – from the one diverse member,” Sami continued.
Monk clearly had had enough and went straight into the nominations for the award they were there to present, leaving Sami looking surprised.
Given that he had previously won Best Original Screenplay with Andrew Knight for Ali’s Wedding, he might have wished for a better script here.
But, to be fair, it was a night of dreadful, lame scripts and Sami and Monk weren’t the only ones to be left with little to laugh about.
Russell Crowe noted he hadn’t written his script, Paul Hogan was asked about his advice for kids and rambled on about winners and losers, Stephen Curry and Rob Collins did their best in a rap about who certain actors were and numerous other presenters were left with embarrassing exchanges.
Crowe clearly went off script when he told a bizarre story apparently to illustrate “sensitivity” in the industry – which was reported by the media and on Twitter but cut from the Channel 7 broadcast.
“I was sodomising Jackie McKenzie on the set of Romper Stomper,” he said and went on to refer to the devices used to cover up their “bits” while filming the scene.
“It wasn’t until the opening night of the film and it was pointed out by none other than Jackie McKenzie’s beautiful late mother that we were in fact in her mind engaged in sodomy.
“Anyway that was just a story about sensitivity.”
Presenting best film at #AACTAs, Russell Crowe tells odd story about the time he was “sodomising Jacqueline Mackenzie in Romper Stomper” & what they were wearing to protect their modesty. Says he was making a point was about “sensitivity”. Stephen Curry in crowd looks perplexed
— Ashleigh Wilson (@ashleighbwilson) December 6, 2017
For the record – and for those who couldn’t cope with the excruciating presenting – the film Lion cleaned up this year.
It won 12 of the 12 categories it was nominated for – including Best Film. Nicole Kidman won two Best Supporting Actress awards – one for Lion and the other for the TV Drama Category for Top of the Lake.
Dev Patel and Sunny Pawar also won in their respective categories.
Aged just nine, Sunny became the youngest ever to receive the Best Actor award.