60 Minutes reporter Charles Wooley has defended his ‘patronising’ interview with Jacinda Ardern, blaming the audience’s scathing reaction on cultural differences between Australia and New Zealand.
While speaking to the NZ Prime Minister on 60 Minutes on Sunday night, Mr Wooley described the pregnant 37-year-old as ‘attractive’ and probed her for information about her due date.
‘I’ve met a lot of Prime Ministers in my time, but none too young and not so many so smart, and never one so attractive,’ he said.
Scores of offended viewers flocked to Twitter to share their outrage after the episode, but the long-time journalist said on Monday he does not regret the interview, according to the NZ Herald.
60 Minutes reporter Charles Wooley has blamed the scathing reaction to his ‘patronising’ interview with Jacinda Ardern on cultural differences between Australia and NZ (Ms Ardern is pictured with her husband during the segment)
While speaking to the NZ Prime Minister on 60 Minutes on Sunday night, Mr Wooley (pictured) described the pregnant 37-year-old as ‘attractive’ and probed her for information about her due date
‘If you say somebody is attractive, my thesaurus defines it as 50 choices from good looking to gorgeous to likeable, there is so many different meanings.’
Mr Wooley told radion station Newstalk ZB he asked Ms Ardern about her due date because his ‘executive producer would have sacked’ him if he hadn’t.
When Ms Ardern told him it was due on June 17 during the Sunday night segment, Mr Wooley said: ‘it’s interesting how much people have been counting back to the conception date’.
Ms Ardern failed to hide an initial reaction of shock, before laughing off the comment.
‘This is a clearly shocking thing to say but Australian audiences aren’t very interested in minutae of NZ politics…..they want to see this wonderful couple,’ he told the NZ radio show this week.
‘I’m not sexist. I’ve got lots of daughter who won’t let me be.’
Mr Wooley did admit his wife thought the interview was ‘too gushing’.
Ms Ardern told media on Monday she was taken back by Mr Wooley’s questioning but had not been offended, according to the NZ Herald.
Although the prime minister was not offended, viewers slammed the 60 Minutes journalist.
Scores of offended viewers flocked to Twitter to share their outrage after the episode, but the long-time journalist said on Monday he does not regret the interview (pictured is Ms Ardern)
‘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 woman said.
‘Absolutely cringeworthy. The things women have to put up with,’ another said.
Viewers also questioned Mr Wooley’s general approach to the interview.
‘Charles Wooley interviewing Jacinda Ardern on 60 Minutes would have to go down as the most patronising interview for a long time,’ one critic said.
”I’ve met a lot of Prime Ministers in my time, none as good looking’. Imagine a woman reporter saying that about a man.’
Another critic said the tone of the interview left him ‘gagging’.
Ms Ardern (centre) told media on Monday she was taken back by Mr Wooley’s (right) questioning but had not been offended, according to the NZ Herald
Mr Wooley also questioned Ms Ardern (left and right with her husband) when her due date was
One female viewer took the liberty of apologising to Jacinda Ardern.
‘So sorry that our Australian reporters were gross. You have huge fans in this kiwi-au house,’ she said.
One man said he felt embarrassed for the New Zealand Prime Minister and was surprised she was able to ‘endure’ the interview.
‘Some of these questions are so repugnant… then he makes a comment about how attractive she is. I’m embarrassed that Jacinda Ardern and her husband had to endure them,’ he said.