Earlier this month, pop-culture magazine Vanity Fair pissed a lot of people off with a bizarre story about Margot Robbie that managed to insult most of Australia.
The piece referred to Australians as ‘throwback people’, and was highly criticised for its sexist approach to Margot’s looks and career – not to mention its overall odd tone.
Once the piece started to gain attention, Australians and Robbie fans took to Twitter to slam the writer, Rich Cohen, for his descriptions of the actress and Australia.
[Australia is] sunny and slow, a throwback, which is why you go there for throwback people. They still live and die with the plot turns of soap operas in Melbourne and Perth, still dwell in a single mass market in Adelaide and Sydney.
In the morning, they watch Australia’s Today show. In other words, it’s just like America, only different. When everyone here is awake, everyone there is asleep, which makes it a perfect perch from which to study our customs, habits, accents.
I’m not sure if he realises that Australia is a completely different country from the U.S. or that it is not an amusement park he can pick fun at, but it gets worse when he begins to describe Margot Robbie.
— Ugly Jake Gyllenhaal (@davidlawrance) July 16, 2016
She is 26 and beautiful, not in that otherworldly, catwalk way but in a minor knock-around key, a blue mood, a slow dance,” he writes. “She is blonde but dark at the roots. She is tall but only with the help of certain shoes.
She can be sexy and composed even while naked but only in character. As I said, she is from Australia. To understand her, you should think about what that means.
Now, Robbie herself is weighing in on the story, and she agrees what everyone else has been thinking: The whole thing was ‘really weird’.
She told The Project:
I remember thinking, ‘That was a really odd interview. I don’t know how that’s going to come out. And then when I read it I was like, yeah, the tone of this is really weird. I don’t really know what he’s trying to get at or play at.
Robbie also said that she was surprised by the response to the article, saying that she ‘didn’t expect there was going to be an uproar about it at all’.
She added: “But I’ve read far more offensive, far more sexist, insulting, derogatory, disgusting things on a daily basis. I don’t know, maybe I’m desensitized to it now.”
Either way, the article was a disgraceful description of Robbie and Australia – especially as Robbie has previously said she’s not comfortable as a sex symbol.