WALEED Aly has made an uncharacteristically ill-thought remark on The Project and simultaneously offended both bogans and administration assistants across the nation.
On Monday night's program, host Carrie Bickmore had just finished reading a story about a Perth business who posted a job advertisement on Gumtree that specified no "bogans" or "rough people" need apply.
Off the back of the story, the panel joked about the ad, with Bickmore asking, "Do you know yourself if you're a bogan?"
Panellist Gretel Killeen noted there's a town in New South Wales that proudly has a "bogan statue".
"If you're not sure, you stand next to their statue (and compare yourself)," she suggested.
As the audience laughed and the segment was about to wrap, Aly decided to get one more joke in.
"The other thing - if you are not taking bogans, where will you get good admin people?" he quipped.
The jarring line elicited an "Ooh" from the studio audience before Bickmore quickly moved on to the next news headline.
While the show moved on, some viewers were stopped dead in their tracks by the remark.
"Waleed Aly has just called admin people bogans. I really had respect for the man. What an ignorant thing for him to say," viewer Debbie Mills wrote to the program on Facebook. "I'm really quite offended and imagine many others are too. I am sure his job wouldn't flow so easily without them. In fact the person who would reply to my message is an Admin person."
Administration assistants, bogans and everyone in between were quick to voice their dismay.
@theprojecttv ummm did Waleed just say that? I work in admin and I am the antithesis of a Bogan. Get off your high horse.— Dom (@myhandleonit) February 13, 2017
#TheProjectTV Waleed. .what makes you think you are any better than a Bogan. ..— Metal_J (@Metal_JT) February 13, 2017
@theprojecttv Waleed if u ever want to meet with my boss, I will put u at the bottom of the priority list cause u think I'm a bogan 😹— ShpunkyLady66 (@ShpunkyLady66) February 13, 2017
Later in the program, Bickmore pointed out to her co-host that his comment hit a nerve with a lot of viewers.
"You want to say anything to the bogans of Australia?" she teased him.
Aly was quick to backpedal.
"Should I clarify? In my head I was making the opposite point to what came out, the idea that admin people are bogans is ridiculous, but it came out the wrong way around," he ventured.
But Gretel Killeen pulled him up.
"You're a boganist," she jokingly accused.
"No, I'm a bogan," Aly concluded.
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