SAVAGE STUFF: "Go f*** yourself Cory Bernardi."
CONSERVATIVE Senator Cory Bernardi has dismissed calls from Australian artists to be removed from his party's Australia Day playlist as "outrageous".
The Australian Conservatives leader has faced backlash from Australian artists after including them on his AC 100 Spotify playlist, promoted on his party's social channels.
Upon finding out his hit To the moon and back had been included in the playlist, Savage Garden frontman Darren Hayes tweeted that he wanted off the list and said Senator Bernardi did "not have permission" to use his music.
The Hilltop Hoods had a more direct message for Senator Bernardi, tweeting: "Go f*** yourself Cory Bernardi."
After telling Hayes to "get over yourself" in a tweet, the outspoken Senator hit back in a radio interview on Thursday morning and denied he was using the songs for political gain.
"They're not appropriated for my political purposes at all," he told ABC's Radio National. "So all of a sudden, I'm not allowed to create a playlist on a music streaming service to which I subscribe, because I might be politicising it. This is nonsensical."
Senator Bernardi accused Hayes of being intolerant, and said the backlash from him and other artists was outrageous.
I don't support your party, values or views. Remove my music from your promotions. You do not have permission to use my music. https://t.co/fBmVisypLz— Darren Hayes (@darrenhayes) January 17, 2018
"This is the type of intolerant censorship that we have warned about for such a long time," he said. "Suddenly artists are saying you're not allowed to add my song to your playlist, you're not allowed to play my music or enjoy my music because I don't agree with your politics views.
"This is outrageous. I'm not using it for my party or my views. I put it on a playlist on Spotify."
Bizarrely, Senator Bernardi defended his inclusion of the Savage Garden song saying he had been criticised for including it "because an openly gay man wrote the song".
"Well, I don't care about that," he said.
Responding to the Hilltop Hoods tweet, Senator Bernardi said: "I actually do enjoy their music but I don't have to like their politics.
"I don't have to enjoy their political or social activism to say hey, they're talented, they're Australian, and they've got some boppy little songs that I kind of enjoy."
He went on to accuse the artists of "groupthink" and "forced ideological blinkered thinking".
The #AC100 countdown appears to be a direct response to Triple J's decision to change the date of their Hottest 100 countdown, which has traditionally been broadcast on January 26.
Senator Bernardi said his playlist was all about encouraging people to enjoy Australian music on Australia Day.
"We've been encouraging people to celebrate Australia Day by hosting barbecues and doing distinctly Australia things including listening to Australian music," he said.
"It's been a cultural tradition for many people to listen to the Triple J hottest 100. That's no longer available to them, and we thought we'd put together 100 of our favourite songs, Australian songs, that people can play on Spotify."