This Sunday, Macklemore is scheduled to perform Same Love at a rugby league grand final in Australia. Usually, this would be no big deal — however the country is currently in the middle of a two-month, mail-in, non-binding "survey" to measure the population's thoughts on gay marriage.
Because of the current state of things Down Under regarding same-sex marriage, the national media and political class is in the midst of a clusterfuck of vast and cosmic proportions, all over whether or not Macklemore should be allowed to sing Same Love at the grand final.
So, in an effort to make things understandable and clear, here are all of the events that led to this skull-numbing debate coming to be in the first place, as well as all the dumb shit that has happened since.
It was announced Macklemore would be playing on September 1. National Rugby League (NRL) chief commercial officer Andrew Abdo said it was a real coup for the game. Everything was normal and no-one was really that bothered, except for a few people who were like "uh...Macklemore."
Things stayed like this for a few weeks, until it all came to the boil in the final days of September. On September 27, the Coalition for Marriage (which is anti same-sex marriage) came out and backed a petition from former NRL player Tony Wall, who wanted to make sure Macklemore wouldn't play Same Love at the grand final.
The petition only got further attention when former prime minister of Australia and key face of the "no" campaign, Tony Abbott, tweeted out a link complete with a Trumpian "Footy fans shouldn't be subjected to a politicised grand final. Sport is sport!"
And then Australia's attorney-general, George Brandis, got involved: "For Mr Abbott and anyone else to say that it should be banned I think is a bizarre thing to say. I thought Mr Abbott believed in freedom of speech."
All of this resulted in some truly wild times. On the 28th, Macklemore appeared on US radio and addressed the controversy surrounding his appearance in Oz, saying he was being harrassed on Twitter by a bunch of "angry old white dudes".
Macklemore's "Imma go harder" was pounced on by the media.
And then conservative politician Pauline Hanson began suggesting a halt on any Same Love performance, not because it's a "gay anthem" but because Macklemore isn't Australian.
Because every high-profile politician in Australia had to have a say on Macklemore's performance, Australia's immigration minister, Peter Dutton, spoke at a presser IN LONDON where he sided with the anti-Same Love crowd. "Making political statements at sporting events is unacceptable," he said.
"I want to take my boys to watch the footy and I don't want the betting ads jammed down their throat, I don't want the gay marriage message jammed down their throat at the football," he said. It was all rather graphic.
Then he suggested that — if you're a fan of free speech — there should actually be two songs played: one for same-sex marriage and one against it. So that left people with a lot of questions:
People were also pointing out that Macklemore had performed Same Love in other countries, including Abu Dhabi, where homosexuality is illegal.
And then another Australian politician, North Queensland MP Bob Katter, told ABC's 7:30 that the whole sequence of events was "a tantamount to seeping sewage into the debutante ball."
On the evening of September 28, Sky News presenter Paul Murray also uncovered Macklemore's controversial (and much spoken about) old tweets. Particularly the one where ol' Mack says "9/11... Bush took down the towers." Yep, now the story involved 9/11 truthers!
And then the PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA appeared on news and current affairs show The Project and... talked about rap.
And we had a bunch of great headlines such as this:
Then a former Labor Party leader turned YouTuber, Mark Latham, brought up the whole 9/11 thing again, saying Macklemore was "dishonoring Australians who died in the towers". Also, instead of a screenshot of the tweet, he took a photo of his computer screen.
All of this was obviously very exhausting, and it carried on into another day when Australians woke up on September 29 to discover Same Love was now the number 1 song on iTunes.
Macklemore was meant to have a press conference with the NRL upon landing in Australia, but his departure from the US was delayed.
No one knows why Macklemore was delayed, but people have thoughts about that too:
And so, we as a nation wait. Will Macklemore sing Same Love at the grand final? Or will he be stopped by a horde of right wing politicians angry with its inclusive message? The good news is, we won't have to wait much longer. The NRL grand final is on Sunday and, at the very least, Macklemore will do Thrift Shop.
Brad Esposito is a news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Contact Brad Esposito at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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