Veteran 60 Minutes journalist, Charles Wooley, has defended his Sunday evening interview with New Zealand prime minister, Jacinda Arden, that has since been labelled “creepy” and “sexist”.
Wooley has described the backlash to his story as “Orwellian” and “it’s not a good time to be a journalist”, adding that his attempt at humour had been lost due to “cultural differences”. And that’s despite much of the backlash coming from Australia.
As reported on B&T yesterday, Wooley found himself in the middle of an international incident after he labelled Arden attractive and then went on to speculate she’d fallen pregnant the night of her election win.
The recriminations were swift on both sides of the Tasman, with New Zealand commentators saying the interview should have come with both an R-rating and a vomit bag.
However, Wooley has defended the interview, telling New Zealand radio station Newstalk ZB that he’s a victim of political correctness.
“It’s a bit Orwellian, you know I think. You’ve got to be so careful now with newsspeak and thought crime and everything else. We suffer the same thing in Australia. It’s not a good time to be a journalist,” Wooley told the radio station.
“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.”
Wooley then admitted that his own wife had said she thought the interview was “too gushing” before defending the decision to ask about when Arden’s baby was conceived, saying, “My executive producer would have sacked me if I hadn’t asked that.”
Wooley then added: “This is a clearly shocking thing to say but Australian audiences aren’t very interested in minutae of New Zealand politics…..they want to see this wonderful couple. I thought it was a funny point, obviously it wasn’t. We’re culturally different.
“I’m not sexist. I’ve got lots of daughters who won’t let me be,” he said. “If you don’t have a thick skin you might as well go into some other business entirely.”
For its part, Nine has largely distanced itself from the fallout, yesterday issuing B&T a statement that barely mentioned Wooley, preferring to espouse 60 Minutes’ 40 year history of conducting interviews “without fear or favour”.
Not so 60 Minutes viewers who took to social media to register their disgust at the interview’s sexism and flippancy.
“I assumed 60 Minutes would have a second half of the Jacinda interview after the break that talked about her policies and political achievements,” one disgruntled viewer wrote on Twitter. “But … nothing. All we got was sexist comments about her looks and baby talk. Ugh. Absolutely shitful journalism.”
Another adding: “Commenting on @jacindaardern’s level of attractiveness, doesn’t seem to be at all relevant to her ability as a nation’s leader.”
“Cringe-worthy car crash of an interview. Issues lost on 60 Minutes and Charles as they revert to ‘80s style. Er, make that ‘60s,” another penned.
Medallia has appointed Heather Paterson as its new ANZ country manager to drive further growth across Australia and New Zealand. With a strong sales performance and leadership background, Paterson joins Medallia as ANZ country manager following more than seven years with leading SaaS financial technology provider, Intralinks, where she was most recently director for Asia […]
Spikes Asia today announces that the 2021 awards will take place in February, bringing them forward to the first quarter of the year. Judging for the Spikes Asia Awards, the region’s most prestigious creative branded communications accolade, as well as the Tangrams Awards and Young Spikes competitions will all take place in February 2021. In […]
Following a rigorous round of online judging by 133 industry experts, The Communications Council today announced that 88 finalists from 24 agencies on behalf of 36 clients have made it into Round Two of the Australian Effie Awards. Finalists will now compete for Effies, Australia’s only awards based on proven advertising effectiveness – across 26 […]
Integral Ad Science (IAS) today announced the launch of “Channel Science”, an industry-leading partnership between Channel Factory and IAS. The Channel Science solution helps advertisers to leverage both companies’ technologies through a single product to ensure their YouTube campaigns are brand-safe, brand-suitable, and performance-optimized. More than ever before, advertisers are searching for ways to streamline their media buying and improve […]
WPP AUNZ has launched its inaugural podcast series, led by WPP AUNZ Chief Strategy Officer, Rose Herceg (pictured). The podcast series will focus on the company’s recent thought leadership study: Secrets & Lies Chapter 4, Humanity & the Machine. Aired over the next few weeks, each discussion will take a deep dive into exploring the role […]
Westpac Group today announced it has partnered with Verizon Media’s Omnichannel DSP across its entire brand portfolio including Westpac Bank, St George Bank, Bank of Melbourne and Bank of South Australia. The new partnership gives Westpac Group access to Verizon Media’s end-to-end strategic marketing and planning capabilities including: first-party data based audience insights; full-service omnichannel […]
Network 10 is set to undergo a massive restructure, leaving a number of high-profile journalists out of a job, including Kerri-Anne Kennerley, Natarsha Belling and Tim Bailey, B&T understands. As first reported on The Sydney Morning Herald, the restructure was announced to staff on Tuesday. As part of the restructuring, the presentation of the weekday […]