Video of the moment soon went viral on TikTok, with several global media outlets – from CNN, to the Daily Mail and GB News – reporting on the outrage expressed online.
CNN’s Jeanne Moss, in her report, described the scene as Ardern “bigfooting her interpreter off the screen”, and “physically edged the interpreter out of the picture”.
Moss also reported on “the look the interpreter gave her boss”, referring to the expression on the interpreter’s face. But Moss also acknowledged Ardern’s “expression of surprise” when the interpreter reappeared beside her, “followed by an apologetic smile”.
Moss also compared the moment to when former US President Donald Trump was filmed appearing to push aside Montenegro’s Prime Minister in 2017 during a NATO summit.
“If you want to see a push, this is a push,” Moss said.
The Daily Mail described the footage of Ardern as “astonishing”, and speculated that the interpreter was “not happy” about being “barged out of the way”, due to her facial expression.
Deaf Aotearoa CEO Lachlan Keating on Twitter described the Daily Mail‘s reporting “rubbish”, and quashed speculation about the interpreter being unhappy.