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Watching Waleed: celebrity authenticity, Australian national identity, and the ideological work of The Project

journal contribution
posted on 2017-05-03, 00:00 authored by Glenn D'CruzGlenn D'Cruz
Waleed Aly is the most visible Australian public intellectual from a
non-Anglo-Australian background. In 2016, Aly won the most
coveted prize in Australian television: The Gold Logie. He was
voted the most popular celebrity on Australian television primarily
on the basis of his role as the co-host of the news/entertainment
panel show The Project. This article interrogates a selection of Aly’s
notable media appearances with a focus on his role as the co-host
of The Project, a popular current affairs show on Australian television,
in order to unpack the complex relationship between his
celebrity status and his standing as a public intellectual, which
bestows Aly with a symbolic, if not literal, mandate of authority
and authenticity. More specifically, the article analyses a series of
complex performative acts that align Aly’s public persona with a
normative conception of Australian national identity. These acts
involve two fundamental co-implicated operations. The first is a
conscious self-presentation best thought of in dramaturgical
terms. The second is best apprehended with reference to those
discursive and institutional factors that make a place ready for us
in the order of things. Finally, the article presents an account of
the ideological work performed by Aly’s ‘authentic’ celebrity
persona.

History

Journal

Celebrity studies

Volume

8

Issue

2

Pagination

409 - 423

Publisher

Routledge

Location

Abingdon, Eng.

ISSN

1939-2397

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2017, Informa UK

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