Last night’s ARIA Awards became the scene of controversy after more than one winner decided to use their stage time to air some harsh words about the music industry, including the ARIA Awards themselves.

As News Corp reports, after receiving the award for Best Comedy Album, triple j breakfast co-host and stand-up comic Matt Okine called out sexism in the recording industry during a rant that was cut from the final broadcast.

Whilst accepting the award, Okine pointed out that there were no women nominated in his category. “I didn’t feel great reading that list of people,” he reportedly told the audience gathered at The Star Event Centre in Sydney.

“I don’t think there were any women nominated in Best Comedy Release, and there’s not even any female featured guests! I’d just feel stupid not saying anything,” Okine added, later telling reporters he felt “silly” about his speech.

“I thought, hold on there’s no women in my category. Now I feel silly about it,” he said. “People might say that’s something you would say for attention, but I feel like, ‘what should I do, just be passive’?”

“A lot of guys my age think you’re doing enough by not doing anything bad.” According to News Corp, Okine’s speech was cut from the final ARIAs broadcast, though it was acknowledged that he’d won when the broadcast returned from an ad break.

A Network Ten spokesperson told News Corp, “The decisions on which awards are broadcast are made by the ARIA Board, not by Network Ten.” Despite not being televised, the video footage was uploaded to the official ARIA Twitter account.

It’s not the first time the ARIAs chose not to air what was arguably one of the highlights of the ceremony. As Tone Deaf reported yesterday, Sydney rockers Front End Loader had their rousing 2011 acceptance speech cut.

ARIA Hall of Fame inductee Tina Arena also decided to take some time to address the inequalities of the industry, telling the audience, via Fairfax, ​”I want to still acknowledge that ladies over 40 are still in the game,” name-checking Kylie Madonna, J-Lo, and Annie Lennox.

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“Keep doing what you’re doing, ladies, because we will decide when it’s time for us to stop. I’m not trying to be rude, I’m just trying to make the most of it.” She also appealed to commercial radio to play more homegrown music.

“I implore commercial radio to continue to support Australian music and base your play lists on the quality of the song and not the age of the artist,” she said. “Please stand proud, Australia, and New Zealand, because you are creating some of what I would consider the greatest music in the world today.”

“I do believe radio has been a bit ageist,” she later told reporters. “Who decides in radio a woman at a certain point in her life is not valuable? Why is about our age and looks? There’s a big difference between a woman on her 20s and a woman in her 40s who has lived her life.”

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