Magda under fire TV star speaks out about Twitter backlash
TV star Magda Szubanski has spoken out to explain her tweets after coming under fire for comments about the Prime Minister’s wife, Jenny Morrison.
Szubanski took to social media over a photo of Mrs Morrison standing near her husband, Scott Morrison, while he signed a condolence book for Prince Philip following the royal’s death.
The TV star was accused of suggesting Mrs Morrison was subservient to her husband in the tweets.
The high-profile comedian told A Current Affair host Tracy Grimshaw her comments were not a “tirade”, as it has been called, and that the main point she was trying to make was that it was bad PR and she would like to know more about the kind of woman Mrs Morrison is.
“Why would you put something that looks like The Handmaid’s Tale out as a photo op?” Szubanski said.
“Look, I don’t want to hurt her (Mrs Morrison), of course I don’t. I do think that if she’s going to be in public life, we need to know more about her.
“If she’s going to have some sort of influence in public life I want to know, what are her values? What kind of a woman is she?”
Szubanski said considering how often Mr Morrison brought up his wife when speaking to the public, it was fair for Australians to know more about her.
She also said she wasn’t the first to make observations about the “wacko” picture and her intention wasn’t to have a crack at Mrs Morrison’s appearance.
“I think doing a media pile-on about someone’s appearance is not something that I would condone,” Szubanski said.
“When I first looked at it did not realise that it was Jenny Morrison because it looks very different from her, she’s normally got her hair done, makeup, the whole sort of thing.
“I genuinely thought it was a meme, so I was a bit staggered that I got drawn into this over such a nothing observation that thousands of people had already made.”
In one of her retweets of the picture she said “I genuinely thought this was a photoshopped Handmaid’s Tale meme. But no. It’s 21st century Aussie life”.
With a follow up tweet not long after that said “Let me be clear… I’m not actually making a disparaging comment about Jenny. I just genuinely thought it was a meme!”
But they’re not the only tweets about the Morrison’s that copped backlash.
In another photo of the Morrison family with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Szubanski commented on Twitter, “what’s this little hand signal thingy?” which appeared to speculate there was more to the way Mrs Morrison’s hand was resting.
While she admits the tweet was probably “silly”, she thinks the reaction might have been a distraction.
“The fact that it turned into this big issue is no doubt in my mind partly to distract from the fact that Christine Holgate was making her testimony, so it was a little bit of ‘oh don’t look at this because there’s something going on here’,” the comedian said.
And while she’s going to take the backlash on the chin, she also said she won’t stop sharing her opinions on Twitter.
“I’m not there just to make nice comments all the time, there are things that I think need to be addressed,” Szubanski said.
“Should I get off Twitter? Should I stop having an opinion? Well that is democracy. Do I like it when people pile on me? No, I don’t, but I also go ‘well that’s what they do’.”