Australian music icon Tina Arena has slammed the lack off support given to the entertainment industry throughout the pandemic in a passionate plea on Studio 10.

The singer, who will be featured in the upcoming Young Talent Time 50th anniversary special, blasted the “double standard” of the government cancelling music shows across the country, but sporting events still being allowed to go ahead.

“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.”

Entertainment reporter Angela Bishop agreed with Tina, noting how much events has been cancelled on short notice, but “never the footy match”.

Tina was visibly outraged, saying “That’s a categoric disrespect.”

Tina Arena is one of millions of Melbourne natives who have been coping with seemingly endless lockdowns, which is due to have had the most days under lockdown of any city in the world on October 4th.

“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.

Continuing on the injustice of the music industry, Tina noted how little financial support the arts have received during the pandemic.

“I’m sorry, that’s rude, disrespectful, and shouldn’t be at all allowed to play out.”

“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.”

Angela Bishop noted that one of Tina’s few stage performances in recent years was the February 2020 Firefight concert to raise money for those affected by the bushfires.

“It seems people have forgotten about the arts community when they’re in need,” Angela suggested, to which Arena agreed.

“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,” said Arena.

“Now we’re in trouble, is someone helping us? No. It’s amazing how people just fly away and disappear…”

“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 said.

Tina’s impassioned speech struck a chord with viewers ion Studio 10, as many agreed that more should be done to support Australian artists.

One fan tweeted, “I’m ready for Tina Arena to be PM.”

Another said, “Tina articulating how we all feel. We are an incredibly resilient community but we are beyond exhausted.”

Image credit: Studio 10

This article first appeared on Over60.