Guy Sebastian has settled his feud with fellow musician Ben Lee after the pair fell out last week over The Voice coach’s decision to boycott the #VaxTheNation campaign.
Ben, 43, had accused Guy on Twitter of ‘trying to be all things to all people’ after he withdrew his support for the campaign urging Aussies to get vaccinated against Covid-19 in order to stop the cycle of lockdowns and restart the live music industry.
While his comments suggested the Australian Idol winner had caved into pressure from anti-vaxxers, Ben has since told the I Swear I Never podcast they’re on good terms after ‘diffusing the situation’ privately.
Guy Sebastian (left) has settled his feud with fellow musician Ben Lee (right) after the pair fell out last week over The Voice coach’s decision to boycott the #VaxTheNation campaign
Lee told hosts Nina Young and Bek Day he hadn’t intended his tweet to start a ‘pile-on’, adding: ‘I actually feel for [Guy] in this situation, and I think he’s trying to respect the values of his audience, his family and the people around him.
‘Me and him were DMing last night and trying to diffuse the situation a little bit. I was saying, I think part of the reason the clarifications you’ve made haven’t landed is because if you continue to focus on this “personal choice” aspect, it can almost be perceived as a dog whistle to anti-vaxxers.
‘Whereas the reality is, we’re not talking about mandating vaccines, we’re talking about taking a collective action in community health. There’s been no suggestion that vaccines are going to be forced.’
Ben, 43, had accused Guy on Twitter of ‘trying to be all things to all people’ after he withdrew his support for the campaign urging Aussies to get vaccinated against Covid-19 in order to stop the cycle of lockdowns and restart the live music industry
The saga began last Monday when Guy, 39, shared a post on Instagram endorsing the #VaxTheNation campaign, but deleted it just hours later and uploaded a bizarre video apologising to his fans.
While he didn’t specify his reasons for backpedalling, it’s believed he withdrew his support after being trolled by anti-vaxxers on social media.
‘Hello, everybody. I just wanted to jump on here to clear something up,’ he said in his video, which was filmed at his $3.1million Maroubra home.
While his comments suggested Guy had caved into pressure from anti-vaxxers, Ben has since revealed they’re on good terms after ‘diffusing the situation’ privately via DMs. Pictured: a mock-up of the conversation, as recounted by Ben on the I Swear I Never podcast
‘I’m sure some of you today might have seen an industry call-out with the best of intentions for our live music industry, which is absolutely decimated, trying to find a pathway forward so we can all assemble together again.
‘I’ve always done everything that I can to support my industry but the campaign was posted to my page without my direct involvement.
‘And while I, like everyone else in my industry, want things to get going again, it is not my role to communicate in the way that post was communicated.’
‘I would never ever tell people what to do when it comes to their personal health choices,’ Guy added, in reference to the Covid vaccine.
‘I’m very sensitive of it, not only at a public level but even in my personal life with people who have had circumstances that they have to consider when making these choices.’
He continued: ‘I just want to say I’m really sorry. It was not a post that was communicated with love or compassion, which I feel is what’s needed when it comes to addressing things like vaccinations.
‘I just wanted to clarify that so that I could speak my truth and people know how I actually feel. So lots of love.’
Fans and fellow musicians expressed their disappointment after Guy withdrew his support for the campaign, with one tweeting: ‘Is he telling the industry he’s above #VaxTheNation?
‘Once his supporters aren’t allowed into a show there’ll be another backflip! Without the backbone it’ll make it easier for him!’
Perth alternative rock trio Shangrila commented: ‘Love you Guy Sebastian and I know there’s no winning that fight for you (comments were crazy) but I wish you didn’t back out of this post man. #VaxTheNation.’
Ben then tweeted: ‘To be honest, this is actually a really sad example of what happens when your career is dependent on trying to be all things to all people.’