Outrage as Spitting Image mocks Jacinda Ardern for her widely praised handling of the pandemic

Greg Evans
Monday 05 October 2020 12:00
Showbiz

Spitting Image's return to screens has been met with a mixed response and the satirical show's depiction of New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern hasn't gone down well.

In a sketch on the show's relaunch, which is available on streaming service BritBox, Ardern is portrayed as a Mary Poppins figure in a Covid free New Zealand, a reference to the nations efficient response to the pandemic.

The sketch involves her singing a version of 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' from the iconic Disney film except the lyrics have been replaced so they now read 'super-Kiwi-socialistic extra-nice Jacinda.' The song also mocks the 40-year-old for her policies such as banning all assault weapons and enforcing a living wage and giving birth to her first child in 2018. It ends with her gruesomely beheading a man for coughing in the street.

Ardern's position as one of the most popular world leaders in the current establishment meant that it was inevitable that she would appear on a show like Spitting Image, which has so far taken aim at the likes of Boris Johnson and Donald Trump.

However, while the likes of the UK and the US are rife for mockery given their mishandling of the pandemic, mocking New Zealand for their response hasn't gone over too well.

However, some did see the funny side of it.

Ardern has also admitted to seeing the sketch. Although she didn't offer any critical thoughts she did add that she removed her child from the room before her character killed a man. She was quoted by TVNZ as saying:

I am familiar with the show, I have seen past pieces of it, over a number of years I believe it's been very popular in the UK, and so yes, I've seen it. 

I'm glad I whipped Neve away from watching it just in time near the end there. I was surprised by the emphasis on the ginger crunch.

Still, at the end of the day satire is meant to push buttons and not every joke is going to be for everyone.

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