'Yes' campaign fears celebrity backlash to Indigenous Voice

Campaign organisers seek grassroots appeal amid concerns over preachy A-list endorsements.

'Yes' campaign fears celebrity backlash to Indigenous Voice
Cate Blanchett / AP
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The ‘Yes’ campaign has become worried that celebrities hectoring the public about the Indigenous Voice to Parliament will dissuade them from voting for it.

Campaign organisers have said they want to ditch ‘preachy’ A-list celebrities in favor of a ‘grassroots’ appeal from indigenous people.

The move is in stark contrast to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s strategy.

The PM created maximum cringe by launching his plan for the Voice standing beside NBA star Shaquille O’Neal.

The moment, made awkward by the fact that O’Neal clearly had no idea what the Voice was about and - as an African American - was completely irrelevant to it anyway, was widely mocked.

But Albanese was undeterred and has been eager to roll out a cavalcade of celebrity endorsements ever since.

Albanese had wanted to recruit Indigenous sports stars Cathy Freeman, Adam Goodes, Johnathan Thurston, Evonne Goolagong-Cawley and Ash Barty earlier this year to promote his proposed changes to the constitution.

The ‘Yes’ campaign’s desire to keep preachy celebs at arms length has not yet worked.

Aussie film star Cate Blanchett recently pushed the Voice while promoting her new film, insisting that “the more inclusive cultures are, the more vibrant they are”.

Blanchett then insinuated that creating the Voice to Parliament was akin to giving women the ability to vote in elections.

“Now can we imagine a world in Australia where women didn't have the right to vote, where their voices weren't heard? No, we can't,” she said

“There is a certain voice that is never really in a nonpartisan way, in an eternal way, represented at that table and that's an Indigenous voice and it is time we evolved to include all Australians.”

She went on to insist that Australia had the chance to “evolve into a really modern democracy, like New Zealand, like Canada” by voting ‘Yes’.

Meanwhile, Nine newsreader Brooke Boney has claimed that a failed referendum would have a “profound” and “damaging” effect on the country.

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