Jacinda Ardern ‘creepy’ 60 Minutes interview sparks anger

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Ms Ardern and Mr Gayford were asked about the date their child was conceived

An Australia TV interview with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in which she was called “attractive” has been widely criticised as “creepy” and inappropriate.

In an interview on current affairs show 60 Minutes, veteran reporter Charles Wooley said he was “smitten” by the PM.

He also asked Ms Ardern, who recently announced she is pregnant, when her baby was conceived.

Ms Ardern later said she was “not fazed” by the line of questioning.

“It’s fair to say that I couldn’t recall there being anything from the interview that particularly stood out to me,” she told reporters on Monday.

‘Cringeworthy’

The 60 Minutes interview was a profile of Ms Ardern, who at 37 became New Zealand’s youngest prime minister in over a century in October last year.

“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 Mr Wooley in his opening.

He also focused much of the interview on Ms 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 her and her partner, Clarke Gayford.

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

Ms Ardern responded by saying the baby was conceived when the “election was over”, but that they did not “need to get into those details”.

In another clip taken from the same interview, Mr Wooley was also seen expressing surprise when Mr Gayford – who will be the full-time carer for the baby – said he did the laundry at home.

The interview was slammed by many on social media, with some calling it “creepy”.

Australians have also been apologising for Mr Wooley.

‘I am not the first woman to multi-task’

But when asked about the furore in regular press conference on Monday, Ms Ardern said she was “not fazed.”

The question about when her child was conceived should be “put under the heading of ‘too much information’,” she said.

Ms Ardern announced her pregnancy in January this year. 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.

“I am not the first woman to multi-task. I am not the first woman to work and have a baby – there are many women who have done this before,” she said at the time.

Baby questions have dogged her throughout her political leadership.

On her first day as opposition leader, she was controversially asked in an interview whether she had made “a choice between having babies and having a career”.

Ms Ardern replied that such a question was “totally unacceptable in 2017”.

“It is a woman’s decision about when they choose to have children and it should not predetermine whether or not they are given a job or have job opportunities,” she said.





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