LOOK, I know everyone is sick of the Brownlows already but I’m about to say something controversial and unexpected, so just hold on.

No sooner had the red carpet been rolled out for footy’s night of nights on Monday than complaints were rolling in about the televised interviews, particularly with the WAGs.

Apparently viewers were upset that Channel Seven’s reporters were only asking these women about the dresses they were wearing, and not conducting in-depth interviews about their careers and hopes for the future and feminist ideology and whatnot.

This misdirected anger was summed up the next day by comedian Em Rusciano in a piece for News.com.au titled “Why reporters should #Ask HerMore on the Brownlows red carpet”, in which she lamented that nobody had interviewed Rebecca Judd about her lifestyle website or “social media empire”.

Well actually (and here comes the controversial bit) I think we’d all be much better off if reporters would #AskHerLess at the Brownlows, or perhaps, to be more grammatical, #AskHerFewer.

Because although my interest in the event is marginally less than my interest in say, wallpaper, I think the whole thing was better for everyone before we all started pretending it was the Oscars.

Before the live TV cameras showed up, the focus at the Brownlows was on the blokes winning the awards, with their partners free to support them and enjoy the night without having their outfits rated in the newspaper.

Now the Brownlows red carpet has become another public runway upon which women are forced to compete, willingly or not.

It’s all down to simple maths: the red carpet circus has sprung up around the WAGs to make the Brownlows more interesting for a TV audience and get more media coverage.

The women are literally there to look pretty and help sell more ads. (Admittedly its’s not the most progressive situation but hey, what do you expect for a footy awards show?)

Of course the gradual evolution of the Brownlow red carpet has spawned a new breed of WAG admired for her hair, or legs, or handbag collection, and who is more than happy to parade for the cameras.

But for every paparazzi-loving show pony there’s a woman who just wants to support her bloke and have a good time without the fear of appearing in the paper underneath a giant “2/10” rating.

And now we want them to be interviewed as though they’re Hollywood stars?

Given that the WAGs are not actually supposed to be the focus of the event, why anyone should be compelled to interview them in the first place, let alone “ask them more”, is beyond me.

In Rusciano’s article she cited the interview with Geelong player Jimmy Bartel’s wife Nadia, saying: “Her numbers for her website, Instagram and online shopping hub are astronomical. Did we hear about that? No, no we did not. We had to talk about her tan.”

While I’m sure that Ms Bartel is a more than capable online businesswoman, I can’t say I share the view that a red carpet interview about her Instagram following would be any more fascinating than questions about her tan. (Surely the two topics are inextricably related anyway?)

The Brownlows red carpet has become nothing more than a glittery gauntlet the footballers’ wives and girlfriends are expected to run simply for daring to show up to support their partner.

Forget “asking her more”; let’s just #AskEveryoneFewer at the Brownlows, and ditch the red carpet altogether.


First published in The Advertiser on October 1, 2015. Click here to view the original article.