People Are Calling This Interview With The Prime Minister Of New Zealand Sexist, Creepy & Cringeworthy

The prime minister of New Zealand was described as "attractive" and asked about the conception of her baby during a widely criticized interview on an Australian current affairs show.
60 Minutes journalist Charles Wooley has come under fire for his sexist line of questioning during the interview, in which he said he was "smitten" with Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand's youngest leader since the 19th century, who is pregnant with her first child.
Wooley referenced Ardern's appearance during the show's introduction, which aired on Sunday night, saying he had "met a lot of prime ministers in [his] time," before adding: "But none so young, not too many so smart, and never one so attractive.” He also said that, like the rest of New Zealand, he was "smitten" with her.
Even more cringe-inducing were Wooley's questions about her pregnancy, which she announced in January, three months after taking office. (Ardern will become only the second female world leader to give birth while in power – Benazir Bhutto gave birth to her daughter while she was Pakistan's PM almost 30 years ago.)
“One really important political question that I want to ask you,” Wooley said to Ardern, who was accompanied by her partner, Clarke Gayford, during the interview. “And that is, what exactly is the date that the baby’s due?”
When Ardern responded June 17, Wooley said it was "interesting how many people have been counting back to the conception ... as it were." The pair both laughed awkwardly, but Gayford looked particularly uncomfortable, blushing and asking, “Really?”
Wooley then, somewhat incongruously, referred to his own experience of conception: “Having produced six children it doesn’t amaze me that people can have children; why shouldn’t a child be conceived during an election campaign?”
To which Ardern replied while rolling her eyes: “The election was done. Not that we need to get into those details.”
Viewers around the world have watched the interview online in shock, with Wooley's questioning widely lambasted as "creepy," "cringeworthy," "sexist," and "pathetic" on social media, particularly by New Zealanders, who swooped to their PM's defense.
Ardern has since said she was unfazed by the interview and wasn't offended, adding that she was used to such lines of questioning from media. "You're assuming that I haven't been asked that question before by New Zealand media as well," she said in a press conference on Monday.
"At the time certainly... that question threw me a little bit, but it would be going a bit far to say I was somehow offended by it. I wasn't. It's one I think put under the heading of too much information," she continued.
"I haven't spent a lot of time analyzing it. Maybe I've lost all of my sensitivity, maybe it's just that I'm from Morrinsville, I don't know, but I just wasn't particularly fazed by any of it," she added.
Gayford's take on the interview, meanwhile, was more in line with the reaction on social media. He alluded to the program in a cryptic tweet containing picturesque photos of New Zealand: "A perfect place to escape for 60 Minutes or longer where required."
Wooley described the criticism of his interview as "Orwellian" and defended his questions by saying Australian audiences wouldn't have been interested in domestic policy questions. Speaking to New Zealand's Newstalk ZB, he said there were "so many different meanings" to the word attractive, "from good looking to gorgeous to likable," but he admitted his wife had accused him of "gushing" over Ardern.
Referring to the uproar, he said: “It’s a bit Orwellian, you know, I think you got to be so careful with newspeak and thought crime and everything else; we suffer the same thing in Australia.”
Read These Next: