Jacinda Ardern Slammed For Pushing Sign Language Interpreter Out Of View
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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has faced backlash after seeming to push a sign language interpreter out of the way at a coronavirus press conference.
The interpreter had been signing at a nationally televised conference that took place on Saturday, October 23, when Ardern stepped away from the microphone, in turn, forcing her to edge out of the frame.
The awkward footage has been met with anger by some viewers, due to the necessity of the interpreter remaining within the broadcast to sign for those who have hearing impairments.
Upon realising that she had blocked the interpreter from being seen, Arden looks embarrassed, shares a look and laugh with the interpreter, before she proceeds to step outside of the frame herself to let the woman continue her work.
Despite the fumble, members of the public have been quick to call out the carelessness of the New Zealand prime minister. One person commented: ‘Even the wokest of woke are arrogant, rude and VERY, VERY PUSHY. @jacindaarden is no exception to the rule.’
#MeanGirl move! No way did she not know that the interpreter was there! She was totally in her peripheral vision. If Jacinda says she “forgot” she was there, that’s even more demeaning to the interpreter. Women know that her apology was feigned.
A third said: ‘Going from bad to worse.’
However, Lachlan Keating, CEO ofDear Aotearoa, which is a non-government organisation representing the voices of deaf people, also responded to the incident.
He stated how ‘great’ it was to have interpreters at ‘so many significant national events’. ‘A lot of advocacy work happens behind the scenes and our team at iSign works closely with many Govt agencies to ensure the Deaf community has access to essential info.’
Ardern’s press conferences have had their fair share of attention recently, as just the day before another conference was interrupted by an earthquake. The 5.9 magnitude quake hit the country’s North Island, and while Ardern flashed a worried look to the interpreter at the time, she quickly composed herself, ‘Sorry, a slight distraction … would you mind repeating that question?’ she said.
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