What is Gladys watching? Bizarre photo of NSW premier sparks ridicule – and many memes

A bizarre photo of the New South Wales premier, Gladys Berejiklian, has become the latest in a long line of images of Australian politicians watching television in baffling and unnerving ways.

Posted on Wednesday to drum up support for New South Wales in its upcoming clash with Queensland in the State of Origin rugby league, the premier’s photo was instead widely mocked for its bizarre composition and strange elements.

In the image, Berejiklian can be seen standing alone in a large room with the blinds drawn, watching a small, blurred television that is largely out of frame.

With her back to the camera, the Liberal leader is holding an unopened can of sugar-free Coke. She’s wearing a Blues beanie and scarf.

Within minutes of it being posted on Twitter and Facebook, the premier’s photographer and social media team were immediately criticised for having created the unsettling image.

The photo was published at 4pm on Wednesday – more than four hours before the game was due to start.

The premier’s televisual faux pas spawned hundreds of memes and drew comparisons to a surprisingly long list of other politicians who viewed their televisions from strange angles.

In 2017, the former prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, made headlines for watching the outcome of the marriage equality postal survey on an extremely low TV, mounted inside a cabinet on the floor, while he remained standing.

Later that night, he somehow found another way to observe a television incorrectly, when he watched the Socceroos beat Honduras in a World Cup qualifier from a very low angle, with the TV too high.

The current prime minister, Scott Morrison, has also been snapped watching rugby on a small TV somehow mounted in the corner of a room (while pointing at it) and watching the finale of Game of Thrones on a too-large bank of TVs.

Australia’s high commissioner to the UK, and former attorney general, George Brandis, watched the last federal budget on a tiny laptop while seated too far away.

But on Wednesday, the fact that Berejiklian was pictured entirely from behind, with none of her face visible, also raised questions as to whether it was actually the premier in the photo.

A rapidly made template also enabled many to make their own memes of the premier watching other famous historical events.


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