New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is slammed for pushing a sign language interpreter during a coronavirus press conference.
On October 23, the interpreter was signing at a nationally televised conference when Ardern stepped away from the microphone, in turn, forcing her to get out of the frame.
The New Zealand Prime Minister looks embarrassed when she realized that she had blocked the interpreter from being seen. Ardern then shared a look and laugh with the female interpreter before stepping outside of the frame herself to let the woman do her job.
The awkward moment was recorded by some angry viewers and uploaded on TikTok, and they argued that the interpreter is necessary to remain within the broadcast to sign for those who have hearing impairments.
Outraged viewers were quick to call out the carelessness of the prime minister.
“Even the wokest of woke is arrogant, rude and VERY, VERY PUSHY,” one person commented. “@jacindaarden is no exception to the rule.”
“#MeanGirl move! No way did she not know that the interpreter was there!” another one added. “She was totally in her peripheral vision. If Jacinda says she “forgot” she was there, that’s even more demeaning to the interpreter. Women know that her apology was feigned.”
“Going from bad to worse,” a third one commented.
Meanwhile, Lachlan Keating, CEO of Dear Aotearoa, a non-government organization representing the voices of deaf people, also responded to the incident.
Keating stated how ‘great’ it was to have interpreters at ‘so many significant national events’.
“A lot of advocacy work happens behind the scenes and our team at iSign works closely with many Govt agencies to ensure the Deaf community has access to essential info,” Keating said.
Ardern’s press conferences have had their fair share of attention.
Just recently, one of the prime minister’s conferences was interrupted by a 5.9 magnitude earthquake, and while Ardern showed a worried look to the interpreter at the time, she quickly composed herself.
“Sorry, a slight distraction,” she said. “Would you mind repeating that question?”