Brian McFadden Review Wins Gold Media Award

26 July 2012 | 10:18 pm | Staff Writer

Clem Bastow's commentary on Brian McFadden's Just The Way You Are single has won the top prize at this year's EVA media awards.

A review of Brian McFadden's controversial single Just The Way You Are (Drunk At The Bar) has scooped the pool at this year's annual EVA awards, which recognise excellence in reporting of violence against women.

The review by Clem Bastow was published in March 2011 by Inpress (printed by Street Press Australia, the owners of theMusic) and pulled up McFadden's lyrics for trivialising the topic of date rape.

The awards, presented in Melbourne tonight (Thursday 26 July),  recognised Bastow's piece in the print section where it won the Best Opinion category. It was also announced as the Gold Award winner - voted by a jury as the best work on the topic of violence against women from all mediums (print, radio, television and online).

The Judges said: "This is a controversial music review that reaches in and rips the heart out of the social myths and behaviours that tolerate, excuse, minimise and romanticise violence against women. Clem's piece pushes so many boundaries on this issue, saying something incredibly important in a popular culture medium which is too often viewed as safe from criticism. She surprises the reader with a total lack of acceptance for gender subtext that 'boys will be boys'. She tackles multiple facets within the issue of sexual assault, in particular the disregard for consent, the attitude that rape is trivial or funny, and that men 'don't really mean it'. Clem contextualises her arguments by quoting current statistics, informing the public on the extent of the real problem.

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"She crushes the tacit belief that these kinds of recordings are somehow ok, and brings into question all those involved in the production of music like this."

Bastow, currently based in LA, was unable to attend the awards but spoke to theMusic after being informed of the win, commenting:  "I'm absolutely thrilled and really honoured. It's so important that these conversations be had outside of the usual contexts for discussion of violence against women, so I hope this encourages other music critics and 'niche' journalists to join in the good fight. And I'm stoked that Inpress gets to lead the way."

The McFadden article ran as an opinion piece in Inpress in lieu of Bastow's regular Singled Out singles review column. The piece went viral not long after hitting the streets and ignited a global debate about song lyrics that "glorify date rape."

McFadden's single eventually failed after radio steered clear of it.

A full list of EVA Award winners is here