'I wasn't offended': Jacinda Ardern responds to 'sexist' 60 Minutes controversy

'I wasn't offended': Jacinda Ardern responds to 'sexist' 60 Minutes controversy

An Australian reporter has been slammed by viewers after he called New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern "attractive" in what has been described a "patronising" and "repugnant" interview.

Australian journalist Charles Wooley opened the segment by noting how attractive Ardern is, and later pressed on with a freaky line of questioning about her pregnancy, and the exact timing of the conception of her baby.

Mr Wooley previewed interview on Chanel Nine's Today Show one day before it aired, where he was asked about Jacinda Ardern achievements for New Zealand to date.

"It's interesting how much people have been counting back to the conception... why shouldn't a child be conceived during an election campaign?" Which is a weird metaphor I really would not like to dwell on at this time.

The network said in interviews with leaders including former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke, ex-British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, 60 Minutes reporters "have always asked the tough questions which the public has been wanting to hear, while also showing the human side of these individuals that we rarely get to see".

And look, plenty of the interview also covered the great work Ardern is doing as Prime Minister, but it's a real pity it needs to be mixed in with all the other stuff.

He posted on Twitter: "Was interested in the Jacinda Ardern interview on 60 Minutes, but he [Charles Wooley] made it cringeworthy".

During the 60 Minutes interview, which aired on Sunday, February 25, she appeared visibly uncomfortable when asked when her child was conceived.

"She has decided you shouldn't make it punitive for kids to go to university... she has cancelled college and tertiary education fees", he said.

"At the time certainly that question threw me a little bit but it would be going a bit far to say I was offended by it, I wasn't". I wasn't. It's one I think put under the heading of too much information.

Unsurprisingly, the response to the piece - which focused largely on Ardern's private life and not her policies - was somewhat less than complimentary. But it was a quip about the kid's exact date of conception that got both Ardern and Gayford's brows wrinkled.

Prime Minister Ardern announced her pregnancy in January, three months after she was elected as the world's youngest female head of government.

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