New Zealand‘s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has branded the conservative leader of the opposition a ‘Karen’ in a bitter debate over a new hate speech law which critics have slammed as an infringement of free speech.
Ardern implied that opposition leader Judith Collins was a ‘Karen’ – a middle-class white woman who has a high opinion of herself and acts in an entitled manner.
The comments were made as the two politicians debated Ardern’s new hate speech law which critics have slammed as an attempt to clamp down on free speech.
David Seymour, the leader of the rightwing ACT party, has branded the proposed law as an infringement of free speech and said it will shut down debate and ‘put cancel culture on steroids’.
He said the only people who will benefit from this law will be the ‘Twitter mob and the perpetually offended’.
During the debate, Ardern turned a tweet by Ms Collins against her in a debate over hate speech, in which the Nationals leader asked ‘Will calling a middle-aged white woman a “Karen” now be a crime under Jacinda Ardern’s law?’
After Ms Collins, also known as ‘Crusher’, said Ms Ardern was ‘wrong’ to stop debate on hate speech, the Kiwi Prime Minister was ready with her rebuttal.
‘Mister speaker, I disagree with that statement and I also disagree with the member’s statement on Twitter that somehow it will become illegal to call someone a Karen,’ she said.
‘That is absolutely incorrect, and I apologise – that means these laws will not protect that member [Collins] from such a claim.’