Bizarre photo of the premiere of New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian, has become the latest in a series of images of Australian politicians watching television confusingly and disturbingly.
Published on Wednesday to boost support for New South Wales in the upcoming conflict with Queensland in Country of origin rugby, the prime minister’s photo has instead been widely ridiculed for its bizarre composition and strange elements.
The picture shows Berejiklian standing alone in a large room with the blinds drawn, watching a small, blurred TV that is mostly out of frame.
With his back to the camera, the Liberal leader holds an unopened can of sugar-free Coca-Cola. She wears a Blues cap and a scarf.
Minutes after it was posted on Twitter and Facebook, the prime minister’s photographer and social media team were immediately criticized for creating a disturbing image.
The photo was released on Wednesday at 4pm – more than four hours before the start of the match.
The prime minister’s television failure spawned hundreds of memes and compared the surprisingly long list of other politicians who watched their televisions from strange angles.
In 2017, former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull published headlines to follow the results of a marriage equality poll on an extremely low TV set inside a cabinet on the floor while he remained standing.
Later that night, he somehow found another way to misread television, when he watched Socceroos beat Honduras in World Cup qualifiers from a very low angle, and the television was too high.
Incumbent Prime Minister Scott Morrison also snapped watching rugby on a small TV set somehow in the corner of the room (as he pointed at it) and watching the Game of Thrones finale on an oversized TV bank.
Australian High Commissioner for the UK and former Attorney General George Brandis watched the latest federal budget on a small laptop as he sat too far away.
But on Wednesday, the fact that Berejiklian was photographed completely from behind and her face was not visible also raised questions about whether it was actually the premiere in the photo.
The quick-made template also allowed many to make memes of the prime minister themselves by watching other well-known historical events.