Sonia Kruger bagged the ultimate win on Sunday night when she was awarded the Gold Logie, but not all viewers thought it was well-deserved.
Channel Seven’s ‘golden girl’, 57, took home the title of Most Popular Personality during TV’s night-of-nights in Sydney.
Viewers at home flocked to Twitter to slam the decision, citing Sonia’s comments about Muslim immigration on the Today show back in 2016.
At the time, Sonia called for Australia to stop Muslim immigration because she wants to ‘feel safe’.
During a fiery Today show panel discussion, the TV host argued there is a correlation between the number of Muslims in a country and the number of terrorist attacks.
Sonia Kruger bagged the ultimate win on Sunday night when she was awarded the Gold Logie, but not all viewers thought it was well-deserved
‘Personally, I would like to see it stop now for Australia because I want to feel safe as all of our citizens do when we go out to celebrate Australia Day,’ she said.
The television host said she had ‘a lot of very good friends’ who were Muslims and peace-loving, beautiful people. ‘But there are fanatics.’
Sonia’s remarks sparked fierce debate on social media, with several viewers branding them as divisive.
In response, the TV star said ‘it was vital to discuss these issues without automatically being labelled racist’.
Many did not forget the furore when she took home the Gold Logie on Sunday evening.
‘What a truly dark day it is for television in Australia. Hopefully Sonia Kruger doesn’t break out the racial gear,’ one person tweeted after her win.
‘How she continues to get work on Australian TV is the most disappointing thing about the industry,’ another added.
One viewer added: ‘In 2016, Sonia Kruger declared she wanted to ban Muslim immigration because she was afraid. In 2023, she’s nominated for a Gold Logie. Thanks, Australian mainstream commercial TV.’
A fourth tweeted: ‘Shaun Micallef was robbed of the Gold Logie, not least to Sonia Kruger who brings little to Australian TV and spoke against Muslims.’
However, there were others who defended Sonia’s comments.
One person said while she didn’t agree with her comments they would ‘defend her right to say them’.
Sonia never apologised for the comments, but said she felt she should be able to express her opinions without being called a racist.
Viewers at home flocked to Twitter to slam the decision, citing Sonia’s comments about Muslim immigration on the Today show back in 2016
A racial vilification complaint against the Big Brother host was made to the Civil and Administrative Tribunal over a statement she made on Today in 2016.
At the time she told a panel, including David Campbell and Lisa Wilkinson, that Japan has a population of 174 million people and 100,000 Muslims and the country never suffers terrorist attacks.
Her remarks drew a passionate response from the morning program’s co-host Campbell, who interrupted her as she began to talk about journalists being ‘threatened’ and freedom of speech.
Hands waving, Campbell replied: ‘I’d like to see freedom of religion as well! As well as freedom of speech! They both go hand and hand!’
We’re talking about immigration, David,’ Sonia replied. She then asked if people were allowed to talk about the issue.
David said the article they were talking about – written by conservative columnist Andrew Bolt in News Corp newspapers – ‘breeds hate’.
‘So you’re not allowed to talk about it?’ Sonia replied. ‘You’re not allowed to discuss it?’
‘I would venture that if you spoke to the parents of those children killed in Nice then they would be of the same opinion.’
She argued ‘good Muslim people’ were dying as a result of terrorist acts, pointing out the first person to die in the Nice terror attacks last week was a Muslim woman.
When host Wilkinson asked her directly whether she wanted the borders totally closed to Muslim migrants, Sonia said: ‘Yes, yes I would.’
Wilkinson pointed out closing the borders to Muslims was the ‘Donald Trump approach’. ‘Well, perhaps it is,’ Sonia said. ‘For the safety of our citizens here I think it’s important’.
At the time, Sonia passionately argued against Today host David Campbell and called for Australia to stop Muslim immigration because she wants to ‘feel safe’
At the time, the former US president had called for a ‘complete shutdown’ on Muslims entering the United States ‘until our country’s representatives can figure out what’s going on’.
Sonia’s remarks sparked fierce debate on social media, with viewers writing in criticism, praise and mockery.
And she responded to the criticism in a combative statement, writing at the time: ‘Following the atrocities last week in Nice where 10 children lost their lives, as a mother, I believe it’s vital in a democratic society to be able to discuss these issues without automatically being labelled racist’.
One said it was ‘refreshing to hear someone voice their honest opinion #concerned #notracist’.
Another said: ‘Whether you agree with Sonia Kruger or not on border control, appreciate she is only looking out for Australian safety and that took guts!’
Other viewers were just surprised by the debate altogether.
‘Never thought I’d see Sonia Kruger and Donald Trump in the same sentence!’ quipped one.
Many did not forget the furore when she took home the Gold Logie on Sunday evening
In 2019, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal ruled that Sonia’s comments would likely have encouraged ‘hatred towards, or serious contempt for, Australian Muslims by ordinary members of the Australian population’.
However, The Voice host was later found not guilty of racial vilification and the complaint was dismissed as the Muslim community in Australia did not have ‘a common ethno-religious origin’.
Sonia faced stiff competition for the Gold Logie with Julia Morris, Hamish Blake, Leigh Sales, Mark Coles Smith, Osher Günsberg and Shaun Micallef all in the running.
While accepting the award, the veteran TV host, who presents hit shows such as Big Brother, Dancing with the Stars and The Voice Australia, was clearly overwhelmed.
Sonia is a media personality who first came to fame playing the role of Tina Sparkle in the 1992 Australian film, Strictly Ballroom.
She has worked as a dance teacher, a Seven Network entertainment reporter and long-time host of Dancing With The Stars.
In 2007, Seven apologised ‘unreservedly’ after Sonia made derogatory comments about a ‘sweatshop full of immigrants’ working on her Melbourne Cup dress.