Why Australian MasterChef Will Fail in 2020

There’s a fair bit of context needed to frame this blog post.  It’s 9.30pm on the 23rd of July 2019

  • I’ve just got home from the office and now watching the Australian MasterChef final while eating dinner which consists of cheese on toast: as someone who loves to find the tension between what people say and what people do, the irony isn’t lost
  • One of the Australian hosts, George Calombaris, made the Australian headlines earlier in the week for underpaying his restaurant staff, subsequently being fined and having a petition to remove him as judge of Australian MasterChef
  • As at 5pm today, it was announced that the three judges – for the last 11 seasons, would not be part of the 2020 line up – later revealed due to a pay dispute; irony again not lost
  • Last week, the same Australian TV channel that shows MasterChef, aired the Adam Goodes documentary
  • In the last 7 days, President Trump called for ‘The Squad’ to be sent back to where they came from
  • And Boris Johnson, as of minutes ago, is set to be the new British Prime Minister

So how do all of above, fit into the click bait headline, that Australian MasterChef 2020 will fail in 2020?

We’re fortunate at The Interpreters to run a number of studies that survey the Australian population as a whole, allowing our clients to get a nationally representative view of the ‘Average Australian’.  And the ‘Average Australian’ probably isn’t the reader of this blog.  Without giving away the insights we provide our clients, the ‘Average Australian’:

  • Will say that they care about the environment, but their behaviours don’t reflect this
  • Will talk about gender equality, but it’s well down the list of priorities they either care about or will choose a political party based on their views on the subject
  • Will talk about the importance of social issues but then admit it’s their children that are driving the conversation and not them

Watching the Adam Goodes documentary, from a sociology perspective, was fascinating in light of world events.  While the traditional news media were happy to talk to Trump’s racism in the 6pm news bulletin, this was very much absent when it came to the comments in the documentary from commentators like Andrew Bolt or Miranda Devine.  We look from afar and judge the USA for their allowance of the ‘Fox & Friends’ narrative –  weren’t the above mentioned ‘journalists’ just as bad or even worse?  And then lets go back to how the same media – and popular media in terms of reach and coverage – treated Julia Gillard.

We operate in four countries but going to forget New Zealand for the time being, as want you to consider the leaders in Australia, the U.K. and U.S.A.  No additional comments needed.  Now think about the social (media) cry to MasterChef Australia to introduce female judges / chefs.  Remember when the respective AFL/NRL Footy Shows bought a female host into the mix?

We’re certainly not saying we don’t want change, diversity, gender equality but looking at where ‘Average Australia’ is at the moment, we’re worried any change is going to fail.  We’re struggling to see ‘mainstream’ examples where there’s been cut through or change in recent years.  We love ‘The Front Bar’ but it took down the racist and misogynistic AFL Footy Show with three male hosts!  Penny Wong and Tanya Plibersek were / are two of the most popular Australian politicians and not leader of the Opposition.  Andrew Bolt and Miranda Devine continue to write their columns, host their TV shows.

We have ideas on how to fix, position and solve this … but that’s another blog and there’s a MasterChef winner to watch.

By Paul Dixon

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