Comedian Magda Szubanski has suffered vicious online trolling after filming a public health message about the importance of wearing face masks.

The actor – best known internationally for her portrayal of Esme Hoggett in Babe – reprised her role as Sharon Strzelecki from the Australian cult-classic TV series, Kath & Kim.

The 40 second video, which was officially authorised by the Australian state of Victoria’s government, features Sharon playing netball against herself.

This is because she’s trying to maintain social distancing. She explained in the skit:

I tell you what, I am so over this lockdown. Playing netball against yourself is not all it’s cracked up to be, especially when you still can’t even win.

But you know what? It’s not the lockdown that’s the enemy, it’s the virus. And the sooner we obey the rules, the sooner this will all be over and we can get back to the stuff that really matters.

In Sharon’s case – netball, of course.

Many people took to social media to commend the actor for the important public health message.

While others, like celebrity chef Pete Evans, called the ad “offensive and disgraceful” for “brainwashing” and “lies”:

The online trolling and conspiracy theorists led to Szubanski defending herself to “Covid deniers” in her mentions:

Then a row about weight erupted.

Many sent some comments in the comedian's way which equated being overweight with being unhealthy. Some suggested she shouldn't be speaking about anything health-related or the virus because of her weight.

Szubanski then addressed the comments about her weight, accusing those commenting on it of 'fat shaming' her.

Despite some studies showing that overweight people are more susceptible to the symptoms of Covid-19, she rejected the notion that "fat people have no place in the discussion".

And people rushed to the comedian’s defence.

At the time of writing, the Australian state of Victoria is the hardest hit by coronavirus across the country.

There have been a total of 18,464 cases in the state alone (as opposed to 25,053 nationally) and sadly 438 deaths (525 nationally).

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)