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Australian TV journalist slammed for sexist, ‘creepy’ interview with New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern

During the interview, veteran reporter Charles Wooley said he was “smitten” by Ardern, called her attractive and asked her inappropriate questions about her pregnancy.

world Updated: Feb 26, 2018 19:08 IST
Indo Asian News Service
Jacinda Ardern,Jacinda Ardern 60 minutes,Charles Wooley
A file photo of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who had to endure a sexist interview on Australian TV show 60 Minutes. (REUTERS/David Gray/File photo)

An Australia TV interview with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern could become part of a future manual on how not to interview a female head of state.

In an interview on current affairs show 60 Minutes, veteran reporter Charles Wooley said he was “smitten” by Ardern, reports the BBC. The interview was a profile of Ardern, who at 37 became New Zealand’s youngest Prime Minister in over a century in October 2017.

“I’ve met a lot of prime ministers in my time, but none so young and not so many so smart, and never one so attractive,” said Wooley in his opening.

He also focused much of the interview on Ardern’s pregnancy.

“One really important political question that I want to ask you, and that is what exactly is the date that the baby’s due?” he asked Ardern and her partner, Clarke Gayford.

“It’s interesting how much people have been counting back to the conception date,” he then added.

Ardern responded by saying the baby was conceived when the “election was over”, but that they did not “need to get into those details”, while her partner, Clarke Gayford, looked visibly uncomfortable.

Ardern announced her pregnancy in January. It will make her the second elected world leader to give birth while in office. She will be taking six weeks of maternity leave before going back to work.

The interview was slammed by many on social media as inappropriate, with some calling it “creepy”, reports the BBC. Even the way the channel promoted the interview came under fire for how they promoted the interview, calling it a ‘behind-the-scenes’ special and describing Ardern as “young, honest and pregnant”.

The interview garnered widespread criticism on social media. “The 60 Minutes Jacinda Adern puff piece is just sick. Charles Wooley has already called her the most attractive PM he’s ever met and asked about when she had sex to fall pregnant,” a Twitter user posted.

First Published: Feb 26, 2018 14:03 IST