Politics

“They’ve Picked The Wrong Person”: Magda Szubanski Shuts Down Conspiracy Trolls On ‘The Project’

"Show us what you've got, show us your arguments, let's have this conversation."

Magda Szubanski The Project

After appearing in a government health TV ad, Magda Szubanski has been trolled by conspiracy theorists who claim she’s the celebrity face to a fake pandemic — including, of course, Pete Evans. After defending herself online, she popped on The Project on Tuesday night to give the COVID-deniers a clear message: she’s not backing down.

In case you haven’t seen it, the ad is a 40-second spot airing in Victoria where Szubanski revisits her Kath & Kim character Sharon, appearing in mask and netball garb to say that if people follow the lockdown measures, the lockdown will slow down COVID and let Victorians resume a more normal life.

“I am so over this lockdown… but you know what? It’s not the lockdown that’s the enemy, it’s the virus,” says Sharon in the ad. “The sooner we obey the rules, the sooner this will all be over and we can get back to the stuff that really matters.”

While facing days of abuse online (with flames stoked by Evans), Szubanski remained stead-fast on Twitter, writing that she wouldn’t back down — and fighting back against those who called her unfit to talk on health due to her weight. On The Project, she elaborated on why she didn’t want to hide-away and let the trolling die down.

“I think a lot of people have been quite shocked to discover that there are so many people who actually don’t believe COVID is real,” she says, adding that she was accused of being a Nazi, communist, and part of a new world order.

“Show us what you’ve got, show us your arguments, let’s have this conversation.”

Still, Szubanski admits that they’re not really up for conversation, and more or less want to silence her, which is a reason to continue to speak of itself.

“But also, I don’t think we should be bullied out of — this is like a cross between the public forum and the Coliseum, and they’re trying to intimidate… but they’ve picked the wrong person with me, they never met my mother. They are nothing compared to growing up with my mother, this is like a cake-walk.”

After the chat, The Project panelist Waleed Aly, who also appeared in an ad in the health campaign, points out that one argument against the ad is that, as paid actors, the figures lose any credibility. He points out that Szubanski donated her $2,000 fee to charity, and he plans to do the same, though doesn’t expect all those involved to do so.

“I understand the concern about money… that was one of the reasons that I was never going to take it,” he says. “But do I want to also point out that there are people involved in this campaign who work in sectors that have been completely crushed by this. And while I wouldn’t take the money, if they want to take the money, I don’t think any of us are in positions to say, ‘this is your first gig in six months, and you shouldn’t take it. I think that’s really poor.”

Watch the segment below.