Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes has been slammed over a ‘sexist’ interview with New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern, with one commentator saying it should have come with a sick bag and an “R” rating.
In the 13-minute piece on the Sunday night current affairs show, veteran journalist Charles Wooley marvelled at Ms Ardern’s age and appearance rather than her policies, in an interview blasted as sexist and tone-deaf.
“I’ve met a lot of prime ministers in my time, but none so young, not too many so smart, and never one so attractive”, he said during the clip.
He also speculated on the date the pregnant 37-year-old politician’s baby was conceived and takes Ms Ardern’s partner Clarke Gayford on a fishing trip, only to deliver the line that “Jacinda was the catch of the day”.
Wooley asked Ms Ardern: “One really important political question that I want to ask you, and that is, what exactly is the date that the baby’s due?”
When Ms Ardern told Wooley it was June 17, he said it was “interesting how much people have been counting back to the conception, as it were”.
“Having produced six children it doesn’t amaze me that people can have children,” he said. “Why shouldn’t a child be conceived during an election campaign?”
“I should add that the election was done. It was over. Not that we need to get into those details,” said a seemingly bemused Ms Ardern.
NZ Herald columnist Steve Braunias wrote that “Wooley is so incredibly and relentlessly creepy”, in an opinion piece in Monday’s paper.
“It ought to come with an R18 certificate. It ought to come with a sickbag too. Only those of strong constitution will be able stop themselves throwing up a stream of vomit that could travel the entire ditch between here and Australia.”
Social media users slammed it as “repugnant” and “absolutely cringeworthy”.
I assumed #60mins would have a second half of the Jacinda interview after the break that talked about her policies and political achievements. But… nothing. All we got was sexist comments about her looks and baby talk. Ugh. Absolutely shitful journalism… *changes channel* 🙄
— Priscilla Sutton (@trisgilla) February 25, 2018
“Commenting on Jacinda Ardern’s level of attractiveness doesn’t seem to be at all relevant to her ability as a nation’s leader,” one Twitter user wrote.
Hey Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern,
If you would like to take a short trip to Australia to give our politicians some tips you would be welcome with open arms.
What an incredible woman. You are the type of politician our country needs. #60mins
— Mad (@brownand_gold) February 25, 2018
“Charles Wooley interviewing Jacinda Ardern on 60 Minutes would have to go down as the most patronising interview for a long time,” another added.
Dear New Zealand 🇳🇿, our best mate, you know how everyone has a creepy Uncle you need to avoid at Xmas parties? Sorry we got him to interview your PM. Please tell @jacindaardern we reckon it was gross.
Love, Australia 🇦🇺 https://t.co/B9Bz3AQRsk
— Belinda Barnet (@manjusrii) February 26, 2018