Meyne Wyatt’s searing monologue on racial injustice thrust him into the national spotlight last year and it has also now led him to international acclaim.
The Kalgoorlie-raised actor is the only Australian to be named on Time Magazine’s prestigious 2021 TIME100 Next List, alongside some globally recognised leaders from the entertainment, medical and political fields.
“I don’t go out there to say that I am a leader, only people can do that, I speak for myself and I think that connects with people,” the 31-year-old told The West Australian.
He is rubbing shoulders with the likes of pop superstar Dua Lipa, actors Ana De Armas and Florence Pugh as well as Bridgerton heart-throb Rege-Jean Page.
He said finding out he was receiving the nod forced him to reflect on his meteoric trajectory, since delivering the monologue from his play City of Gold on ABC’s Q+A last June.
“People had said to me it was courageous (to write that play), but I didn’t think so at the time,” Wyatt said.
“When I look back I can see that I spilled my guts, with the loss of my father and to be able to write that play, to speak about racism that ended up culminating in my time on Q+A, I think that is where people had really come to a moment.”
His TV appearance went viral as the Black Lives Matter movement gathered momentum, putting his name squarely on TIME’s radar.
The magazine’s Amy Gunia called the Yamatji/Wongatha writer’s monologue was filled with with “sharp lines that carried a strong message”.
“It connected with a lot of people, I was happier about the message getting across than my own personal validation,” Wyatt said.