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Nine delays launch of The Weakest Link hosted by Magda Szubanski

Nine delays launch of The Weakest Link hosted by Magda Szubanski

Channel Nine has delayed the premiere date for quiz show reboot The Weakest Link, hosted by controversial comedian Magda Szubanski.

The network had originally scheduled the program to launch on Tuesday, May 4, at 8:50pm, but it’s now expected to air later in the month, reports TV Blackbox.

Nine will fill the vacant time slot with two movies: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle on May 4, and Central Intelligence the following week.

Channel Nine has delayed the premiere date for quiz show reboot The Weakest Link, hosted by controversial comedian Magda Szubanski (pictured in Auckland in 2019)

A Nine spokesperson blamed the programming change on The Weakest Link’s ‘tight production schedule’ – with TV Tonight reporting that filming only started last week.

‘Due to the tight production schedule Weakest Link will now launch at the end of May on Channel 9,’ the representative said.

The delay could be a blessing in disguise for Nine, as Szubanski made headlines for all the wrong reasons earlier this month when she fired off a series of bizarre and widely condemned tweets about Prime Minister Scott Morrison‘s wife, Jenny.

She later defended her tweets –  which compared a conservatively dressed Mrs Morrison to a character from dystopian TV series The Handmaid’s Tale – by arguing the PM’s wife was fair game for criticism because she had ‘opted in’ to public life by offering her husband policy advice.

Szubanski also suggested the outrage was distracting from ousted Australia Post boss Christine Holgate’s scorching testimony against the PM at a Senate Inquiry – even though this had been covered extensively by news outlets at the time. 

The network had originally scheduled the program to launch on Tuesday, May 4, at 8:50pm, but it's now expected to air later in the month, reports TV Blackbox. Szubanski is pictured in Melbourne in November 2019

The network had originally scheduled the program to launch on Tuesday, May 4, at 8:50pm, but it’s now expected to air later in the month, reports TV Blackbox. Szubanski is pictured in Melbourne in November 2019

The delay could be a blessing in disguise for Nine, as Szubanski made headlines for all the wrong reasons earlier this month when she fired off a series of bizarre and widely condemned tweets about Prime Minister Scott Morrison 's wife, Jenny

The delay could be a blessing in disguise for Nine, as Szubanski made headlines for all the wrong reasons earlier this month when she fired off a series of bizarre and widely condemned tweets about Prime Minister Scott Morrison ‘s wife, Jenny 

She faced criticism from female politicians for comparing Jenny Morrison to a character from The Handmaid's Tale in this Twitter post from April 11

She faced criticism from female politicians for comparing Jenny Morrison to a character from The Handmaid’s Tale in this Twitter post from April 11

Responding to criticism from Liberal MP Nicolle Flint – one of several conservative female politicians who took issue with her Handmaid’s Tale tweet – Szubanski wrote: ‘1) seriously, my comment is “appalling” says Flint. “Appalling”?! 

‘2) I never said a single word about Jenny. 3) why is this headline news when… Christine Holgate is testifying?! Blatant attempt to use “sisterhood” to distract. Now THAT’S appalling.’

She then denied any suggestion she was ‘walking back’ her initial comments about Mrs Morrison.

Szubanski tweeted: ‘Oh no you don’t! I’m not “walking back” from anything! Simply stating facts. Nor will I be forced into an apology for… nothing.

‘I see what the “Christian Soldiers” are doing here. They have drawn a “pink line” and I’m the Big Game. Let the fat shaming begin!

‘THIS is what this is really all about. Well, I’m not backing down. The infiltration of the religious far right into Australian politics is… disturbing.’ 

She defended her Twitter post - which compared a conservatively dressed Mrs Morrison to a character from dystopian TV series The Handmaid's Tale - by arguing the PM's wife had 'opted in' to public life by offering her husband policy advice. Szubanski is pictured in October 2019

She defended her Twitter post – which compared a conservatively dressed Mrs Morrison to a character from dystopian TV series The Handmaid’s Tale – by arguing the PM’s wife had ‘opted in’ to public life by offering her husband policy advice. Szubanski is pictured in October 2019

Szubanski tried to justify her criticism of Mrs Morrison by saying the PM had 'weaponised' his wife by admitting he speaks to her about policy matters

Szubanski tried to justify her criticism of Mrs Morrison by saying the PM had ‘weaponised’ his wife by admitting he speaks to her about policy matters 

During a subsequent interview on A Current Affair – which was viewed by many as Nine’s attempt at ‘damage control’ ahead of the launch of The Weakest Link – Szubanski reiterated her position that her tweets were not about Jenny personally but about the influence of the Christian right in politics.

‘That was a mild way of drawing attention to the fact I do have concerns about, and trust me this is not about the majority of Christians, but the element of the far-right,’ she said.

‘And – they are really going to come for me now – I think that is a concern. I think that is quite legitimate to say in this country. I don’t like extremes of any kind is my stance.’

Mr and Mrs Morrison are evangelical Christians and have made no apologies for their strong beliefs, with the Liberal leader having met his future wife at a Christian youth camp.  

Responding to criticism from Liberal MP Nicolle Flint - one of several conservative female politicians who took issue with her Handmaid's Tale tweet - Szubanski wrote: '1) seriously, my comment is "appalling" says Flint. "Appalling"?!'

Responding to criticism from Liberal MP Nicolle Flint – one of several conservative female politicians who took issue with her Handmaid’s Tale tweet – Szubanski wrote: ‘1) seriously, my comment is “appalling” says Flint. “Appalling”?!’

During a subsequent interview on A Current Affair - which was viewed by many as Nine's attempt at 'damage control' ahead of the launch of The Weakest Link - Szubanski reiterated her position that her tweets were not about Jenny personally but about the influence of the Christian right in politics

During a subsequent interview on A Current Affair – which was viewed by many as Nine’s attempt at ‘damage control’ ahead of the launch of The Weakest Link – Szubanski reiterated her position that her tweets were not about Jenny personally but about the influence of the Christian right in politics

A glum-looking Szubanski had celebrated her 60th birthday on April 12 by taking a solo stroll in Melbourne, after being criticised by female politicians for comparing Mrs Morrison to a character from The Handmaid’s Tale.

The funnywoman, who won fame for her roles on comedy shows Fast Forward, Full Frontal and Kath & Kim before becoming a prominent activist, had retweeted a photo of Mrs Morrison in a high-neck black dress as she watched her husband sign a condolence book for the late Prince Philip.

Szubanski captioned the image: ‘I genuinely thought this was a photoshopped Handmaid’s Tale meme. But no. It’s 21st century Aussie life.’

Based on the novel by Margaret Atwood, HBO series The Handmaid’s Tale is set in a totalitarian society in which women are treated as property of the state.

Szubanski had retweeted the photo with a message from a left-wing Twitter account, which read: ‘Good morning to everyone else to whom this feels creepy, chilling, terrifying, ominous, enraging, despairing and utterly, completely f**king depressing.’

She faced widespread backlash for her commentary, which suggested Ms Morrison was part of the machinery of a misogynist society. 

The actress – who played loveable misfit Sharon Strzelecki in ABC sitcom Kath & Kim – faced backlash from a number of conservative female politicians over her tweet.

Dystopian: Based on the novel by Margaret Atwood, HBO series The Handmaid's Tale is set in a totalitarian society in which women are treated as property of the state. Pictured: actors Yvonne Strahovski and Elisabeth Moss in The Handmaid's Tale

Dystopian: Based on the novel by Margaret Atwood, HBO series The Handmaid’s Tale is set in a totalitarian society in which women are treated as property of the state. Pictured: actors Yvonne Strahovski and Elisabeth Moss in The Handmaid’s Tale

NSW Liberal Senator Hollie Hughes told The Daily Telegraph: ‘Ms Szubanski has herself been the target of obscene trolls, yet the hypocritical nature of the Left is here on display.’

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Liberal MP Nicolle Flint also launched a scathing attack on Magda, saying her tweet represents a ‘double standard’ in the way female politicians are perceived.

‘I cannot believe the appalling personal attacks on Mrs Morrison, especially by Ms Szubanski, a woman who has received one of our nation’s highest honours,’ she said.

‘Ms Szubanski’s completely disrespectful comments are yet another example of the double standards demonstrated towards women on the centre-right of politics.

‘The sisterhood need to stop picking and choosing which sisters to protect; all women deserve to be treated with respect.’

Szubanski had also re-tweeted an image of the Morrison family posing with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, zooming in on Mrs Morrison’s hand which showed her forefinger and thumb joined.

While it is mostly used as a benign sign for ‘OK’, a similar signal had been used by the far right, using the digits to create a W and P for White Power.

‘What’s this little hand signal thingy??’ Szubanski tweeted.

While her question may have been innocent, it prompted a string of replies suggesting the hand gesture was somehow sinister.

Daily Mail Australia is not suggesting Jenny Morrison’s hand gesture was in any way signifying ‘white supremacy’.

More backlash: Szubanski had also re-tweeted this image of the Morrison family posing with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, zooming in on Mrs Morrison's hand which showed her forefinger and thumb joined. While many understand the symbol to be a benign sign for 'OK', darker corners of the Internet allege it's been appropriated to signify 'white supremacy'

More backlash: Szubanski had also re-tweeted this image of the Morrison family posing with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, zooming in on Mrs Morrison’s hand which showed her forefinger and thumb joined. While many understand the symbol to be a benign sign for ‘OK’, darker corners of the Internet allege it’s been appropriated to signify ‘white supremacy’

On April 13, Szubanski took to her social media platform again to address the backlash against her controversial Handmaid’s Tale tweet.

‘Let me be clear…’ she wrote, ‘I’m not actually making a disparaging comment about Jenny. I just genuinely thought it was a meme!’

After one follower called her ‘bitter and twisted’, she replied: ‘I know, right?! I’m terrible Muriel. A bitter twisted wreck of a once talented (debatable) funny gal.

‘Sigh. So do yourself a favour and spare yourself the awful spectacle and don’t follow me or read my tweets. Actually, I’ll save you the effort and just block you.’

Response: On April 13, Szubanski took to Twitter again to address the backlash against her controversial Handmaid's Tale tweet

Response: On April 13, Szubanski took to Twitter again to address the backlash against her controversial Handmaid’s Tale tweet


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