Jacinda Ardern
Jacinda Ardern was asked about the conception of her child. MARTY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images


  • People shared their anger at what was deemed a "sexist" and "patronising" interview.
  • Interviewer Charles Wooley has since defended his line of questioning and spoke of concerns on "Orwellian" restrictions to speech.

An Australian TV interview with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been called "creepy" after she was called "attractive" and asked about the conception of her baby.

On current affairs show 60 Minutes, well-known reporter Charles Wooley said he was "smitten" by Ardern.

"I've met a lot of prime ministers in my time," said Wooley during the segment. "But none so young, not too many so smart, and never one so attractive."

Ardern announced her pregnancy in January this year, making her the second elected world leader to give birth while in office.

Joined with her partner Clarke Gayford, the pregnant New Zealand leader was asked by Wooley when she and Gayford had conceived their child.

60 Minutes later defended itself, saying it was showing the "human side" of its interviewees, BBC News reported.

Ardern told reporters that she was "not fazed" by the line of questioning. "It's fair to say that I couldn't recall there being anything from the interview that particularly stood out to me," she said on Monday (26 February).

People on social media felt differently however, and flocked to Twitter share their anger at the line of questioning.

One person asked: "[sic] Why did 60 Minutes send its creepiest interviewer to do its segment on Jacinda Ardern? Ew!"

Another said: "[sic] Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, on behalf of those Australians who aren't sexist pigs, I sincerely apologise for trash TV #60Mins patronising 'interview'. We're a bit behind over here. Look at how the Liberal Party & most media treated our 1st & only female Prime Minister. Truly ashamed."

Another person said: "Commenting on Jacinda Ardern's level of attractiveness, doesn't seem to be at all relevant to her ability as a nation's leader."

Wooley defended his questions to Newstalk ZB in New Zealand and said: "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.

"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."

"On 60 Minutes they want to see this wonderful couple. I just loved being with them. I thought they were so much fun, such a breath of fresh air. You know it was just terrific to be with them."