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Jacinda Ardern Seems To Call New Zealand Opposition Leader A ‘Karen’ During Debate

by : Hannah Smith on : 01 Jul 2021 11:18
Jacinda Ardern Seems To Call New Zealand Opposition Leader A 'Karen' During DebatePA Images/Judith Collins/Facebook

A parliamentary debate turned into the real-life version of a Twitter spat this week after New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared to call the country’s opposition leader a ‘Karen’.

The verbal shot was fired during a debate over hate speech laws in the country, which Ardern’s government is attempting to strengthen in the wake of the 2019 Christchurch mosque attacks.

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Jacinda Ardern implied that opposition leader Judith Collins was a Karen (PA Images)PA Images

In a tweet ahead of the debate, Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins criticised the proposals, asking, ‘Will calling a middle-aged white woman a ‘Karen’ now be a crime under Jacinda Ardern’s law?’, before reiterating in parliament on Wednesday, June 30, that the law would ‘shut down debate on hate speech’.

‘I disagree with that statement,’ Ardern hit back, before going on to take aim at Collins’ ‘Karen’ claims, saying, ‘I also, as it happens, disagree with [Collins’] statement on Twitter, that somehow it will become illegal to call someone a ‘Karen’. That is absolutely incorrect, and I apologize, that means these laws will not protect that member from such a claim.’

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The joke landed pretty well, with Stuff NZ reporting ‘raucous laughter’ and applause from both sides of the chamber, and it even got a small smile from Collins herself. The National Party leader later returned to Twitter, however, to criticise Ardern’s comment, writing, ‘Apparently insulting women for either being named Karen and/or for being middle-aged white women is fine, under Jacinda Ardern’s new law.’

Ardern’s gag quickly started trending on social media in the country, with one person tweeting, ‘A fine cut, perfectly delivered.’

Another person posted an image of Collins with the caption, ‘Yeah, that checks out.’

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Hannah Smith

Hannah Smith is a London-based journalist at UNILAD. After studying History at UCL she worked for print publications on both sides of the pond, including spells at Harper's Magazine and The Times, before graduating with an MA in Newspaper Journalism from City, University of London.

Topics: News, Jacinda Ardern, Karen, New Zealand, Now

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Stuff NZ
  1. Stuff NZ

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern calls Judith Collins a 'Karen' during heated hate speech debate