Comedian Magda Szubanksi has explained why she targeted the PM’s wife Jenny Morrison in a tweet, which sparked a barrage of fury.
Popular comedian Magda Szubanski has explained why she attacked the Prime Minister’s wife and her Christian faith in a controversial tweet at the weekend.
The Kath and Kim star and best-selling author has endured days of ferocious criticism over the social media pot shot, accused of “appalling” conduct.
Based on the iconic book by Margaret Atwood, the story is set in the dystopian future totalitarian nation of Gilead where single women are kept as baby-making slaves.
Married women are subservient and do not work, wearing plain coloured clothes and serving the whims of their husbands.
Now, Szubanski has doubled down, revealed her motive and said she believes real-life conservative Christians are “really going to come for me now”.
The controversy began when a photograph was released of Scott Morrison signing a condolence book for Queen Elizabeth, following the death of her husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
In the image a sombre Mrs Morrison, dressed in black and standing in the background, watches on.
The photograph was tweeted by a well-known, left-leaning feminist group, which labelled it “creepy”.
“Good morning to everyone else to whom this feels creepy, chilling, terrifying, ominous, enraging, despairing and utterly, completely f***ing depressing,” the message read.
Szubanski shared the tweet and added: “I genuinely thought this was a photoshopped Handmaid’s Tale meme. But no. It’s 21st century Aussie life.”
The backlash was swift, with a string of Coalition politicians criticising Szubanski for going after the PM’s wife.
Several female politicians spoke out against Szubanski, with Liberal MP Nicolle Flint calling her tweet “appalling” and “deeply nasty”.
Magda reveals her motive for attacking Jenny
On Wednesday night, Szubanski appeared on A Current Affair to give her side of the story, saying her intention was to highlight the growing influence of ‘far-right Christians’ in political life.
“That was a mild way of drawing attention to the fact I do have concerns about, and trust me this is not about the majority of Christians, but the element of the far-right,” she said.
“And – they are really going to come for me now – I think that is a concern.
“I think that is quite legitimate to say in this country. I don‘t like extremes of any kind, is my stance.”
The Morrisons are evangelical Christians and prominent figures at their local church, Horizon – part of the Hillsong group – in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire.
The pair met at a Christian youth group. They are open and proud of their devout faith.
Szubanski did not apologise for her original tweet, instead doubling down, saying: “why you would put something that looks like the Handmaid’s Tale out as a photo op?”
She said she’s normally “extremely restrained” on social media, but felt compelled to share her views.
“In terms of the increasing presence of the religious right in politics in this country, then I will say something,” she said.
She also claimed that the controversy about her tweet was manufactured to distract from former Australia Post boss Christine Holgate’s appearance before a Senate committee.
Mr Morrison has faced direct criticism over his treatment of Ms Holgate, who he savaged in parliament for awarding several high-priced Cartier watches as executive bonuses.
She claims to have felt bullied and driven to the point of suicide over the saga and the destruction of her career.
“I‘m becoming Twitter toughened and if you speak up, this is what’s going to happen,” Szubanski said.
“What stunned me was this was such a non-event, and non-comment. It was a comment about a photo that I genuinely thought was a meme.
“I was a bit staggered that I got drawn into this over such a nothing observation that thousands of people had already made on Twitter.
“I think it’s sort of a fact of 21st Century life. If you are at all a public person, you do get better at it, but it seems excessive as to what the actual tweet was.”
Before her appearance on the program, Szubanski took to Twitter again to defend herself against the backlash, insisting that Mrs Morrison is “fair game”.