Tina Arena Slams Lack Of Pandemic Support For Australian Arts Industry: “We’re Done”

In a new interview with Studio 10, Tina Arena has slammed the lack of support given to Australian artists throughout the last two years of the varying lockdowns.

The singer appeared on the program on Friday (24th September) as promo for the upcoming Young Talent Time: Unmasked 50th anniversary television special, in which Arena is a featured guest.

The conversation steered in the direction of the pandemic when interviewer Angela Bishop asked Arena how she’s doing this lockdown, as the singer currently resides in Melbourne.

As of last week, Melbourne residents have been in one of the longest lockdowns in the world, with a total of 267 days across the two year period, according to the ABC.

“I’ve really struggled, and I’m comfortable in saying that. I’ve had a very difficult time, like many people. I’m profoundly against being locked up. The injustice is too much,” Arena said.

Arena also expressed her frustration at the treatment of athletes, in comparison to that of artists around the country.

“I also hate the differentiation between sport and arts in Australia. As the artistic community, we will draw the line in the sand now and say, ‘No more of your double standards now,’” she continued.

“Sport is a great thing, but life is not just about sport, life is about art and culture … I would encourage the artistic community to come forward, and I’d encourage anybody else to start thinking straight now.”

“Never, ever silence an artist. We play an important role in the social fibre of any country. It’s freedom of expression, and I’ll fight for it until the day I die.”

Bishop then brought up our artist’s consistent desire to help out in dire times, citing the arts community’s response to the 2020 bushfires.

“It seems people have forgotten about the arts community when they’re in need,” Bishop said.

“If anything goes wrong, the artistic community has always lifted their sleeves up. We’ve gone in there and done what we needed to do. We’re very happy to play that role to help people – it’s what we do,” Arena responded.

“Now we’re in trouble, is someone helping us? No. It’s amazing how people just fly away and disappear, however they’re very quick to ask us to work for free, to relinquish any kind of remuneration from sales of record.

“You know what? DONE. We’re done, and now we’re saying it. Just stop this ridiculous, preposterous behaviour. It’s got to stop.”

She closed out the segment by urging fans to keep their tickets, and show up once business can resume.

Watch the full segment below.

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