“What I said was dumb”: Steve Price apologised after unleashing on Jacinda Ardern
Steve Price has issued what looks to be a sincere apology to Jacinda Ardern, after receiving criticism for unleashing on the PM on Tuesday night.
The controversial broadcaster let loose on The Project when comparing the NZ PM’s family holiday to Australia, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s infamous December trip to Hawaii, amid Australia’s worst bushfire season in recorded history.
“She should be in her own country and spend money in her own place,” he growled at the time.
“Typical virtue-signalling from Ardern. I get sick and tired of that woman!,” he asserted, prompting viewers to call him out as “sexist”.
However, his tone took a turn when he phoned in to apologise on The Project to make amends for his comments towards the end of the program.
Price, who was absent from show on Wednesday evening, said he regret the way he spoke about Miss Ardern.
“Thanks for letting me come back on tonight and apologise to Jacinda Ardern,” he began after fellow co-host Lisa Wilkinson said she had been “shocked” by his comments.
“What I said was disrespectful to her as a woman and importantly it was also disrespectful of the office of the Prime Minister of New Zealand, our closest ally. She has got every right to be here in Australia and what I said last night was dumb,” he conceded.
“Are you sorry because of the huge backlash that there was over the last 24 hours, or do you genuinely mean that because I think people were particularly offended that you would call her ‘that woman’ and make it about gender,” Wilkinson asked.
“I think you have known me long enough that I’m genuine about things,” he said to the panel.
“I got home last night, watched myself and thought back and I thought I was wrong to do it. If I make a mistake I own it. I made a mistake last night, a dumb one, and I’m here to say sorry.”
He also took the moment to reassure the panel he is “not a climate change sceptic or denier” after making several comments about the bushfire crisis plaguing Australia.
I’m someone who is open for debate about this,” he said.
His grovelling apology follows after a story about Jacinda Ardern’s holiday to Queensland potentially boosting post-bushfire tourism to Australia left Pricey frustrated.
“Why is she not holidaying in New Zealand?,” he questioned to his co-hosts Lisa Wilkinson, and Peter van Onselen.
“If you can criticise Scott Morrison going to Hawaii, why is she not in Hamilton or Canterbury. What is she doing hanging around Australia?
“She should be in her own country and spend money in her own place. Typical virtue-signalling from Ardern. I get sick and tired of that woman!,” he asserted.
“It could be a PM exchange program. We could always cross our fingers,” host Lisa Wilkinson joked in what appeared to be an attempt to keep the peace.
However, van Onselen wasn’t so forgiving.
“Nobody is saying that the Prime Ministers can’t travel overseas,” he said, laughing.
But Price continued to fight his argument: “Hang on, if you are going to criticise Scott Morrison going to Hawaii instead of going to the southern coast of New South Wales, why not criticise her.”
“Her country is not on fire, mate,” van Onselen spat back.
“So?,” Pricey said.
“What do you mean so?”, replied van Onselen.
“She should be in New Zealand spending money there,” the controversial broadcaster tersely responded.
Wilkinson went on to explain the nation’s heated backlash of Scott Morrison taking a trip to Hawaii was to do with “timing and the fact that he hid it from the public”.
“I’m getting tired of Jacinda Ardern doing no wrong,” Pricey concluded.
The Project airs Sunday – Friday from 7.30 pm on Ten.
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