Tony Armstrong, winner of Best New Talent at the Logies, did not hold back when a hater accused him of “virtue signaling” for his Welcome to Country.
Tony Armstrong keeps collecting wins.
The ABC News Breakfast’s sports presenter and host of A Dog’s World with Tony Armstrong took out the Graham Kennedy Award for Best New Talent at Sunday night’s Logies.
He also casually took down hateful, anonymous trolls on social media when they called him out for, of all things, acknowledging the traditional owners on the Gold Coast, the Yugambeh People, and paying his respects to First Nations People in attendance.
“You’re all deadly,” he told the crowd.
Like clockwork, the critics jumped online to complain about what they saw as “virtue signaling”.
“Acknowledgment of country is virtue signaling that does nothing to further the wellbeing of indigenous people in Australia,” one person wrote on Twitter after ABC News Breakfast host Michael Rowland congratulated Armstrong for his Welcome to Country.
“It’s time we drop this nonsense,” the Twitter user wrote.
Armstrong did not hold back.
“Shut up bro,” he responded. “I’m a blackfulla and I am duty bound to respect the land I’m on.”
His comment, which has been liked more than 5000 times, led to a wave of support from fans on the platform who jumped to his defence.
“Tony, mate, I’m sorry you need to answer to this s**t,” one person wrote. “But you know there’s a whole clan of white guys and gals out here who totally back you. And we know what land we stand on.”
Later in the show, while accepting his richly-deserved Best New Talent award, Armstrong thanked his mother by calling her the “old cheese”.
“She’s a superstar, she’s done everything for me. I wouldn’t be up here without her so a big thanks to her and please give her a clap, she will love it back home,” he said.
In a video uploaded to social media after winning the award, the former AFL player turned media star said he was “overwhelmed”.
“I’m pretty overwhelmed. Clearly a lot of people voted so it’s a really nice feeling. I feel warm and fuzzy,” he said.
Armstrong, a proud Barrinbinya man, grew up in rural NSW and took his talents to the AFL where he had stints with Adelaide, Collingwood and the Sydney Swans.
He hosted shows on NITV and SBS before joining the ABC News Breakfast team as a replacement for Paul Kennedy.
His popularity soared in 2021 when he took the role on full time and proved that you don’t have to take yourself too seriously to succeed in TV.
Australians fell in love with his wit and sense of humor that was on full display when he appeared in segments for The Weekly with Charlie Pickering.