Famed Canadian writer Margaret Atwood may have been in a little hot water for pointed references to the Conservative Party’s attack ads that consistently reference Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s hair. Atwood wrote about the Conservative Party’s ads as a way of leading in to an indictment of Stephen Harper’s current run as prime minister. The National Post, where the satirical article was initially posted, was later removed as “fact-checking” was conducted and decisions were made about whether or not Atwood’s piece aligned with National Post’s principles.
Atwood had questions about what had really caused the article to get pulled after publication, though she appeared to view the matter, later tagged #hairgate, with a bit of tongue in cheek.
Atwood has long been an opponent of Harper’s policies over recent years, and the 75-year-old Man Booker Prize winner saw her piece pulled from the National Post and published on The Walrus. The Walrus piece had trimmed three sentences from the Atwood piece. Soon after, the piece reappeared on the National Post website with The Walrus version.
It seemed that the Atwood piece resonated with the public as well. While Canadians are getting ready for the polls on October 19, it seems that not only Canadians are interested in the Canadian political scene.
Puns about #hairgate were trending throughout social media for hours. Atwood’s Twitter feed was peppered with many jokes about her references to the Conservative Party’s hair-targeted ads.
@MargaretAtwood or The Demon Barber of Sussex Street— LesMainsDeTortue (@turtlehands) August 23, 2015
Regardless of whether or not Atwood became a victim of censorship, Atwood has definitely generated a lot of attention on the Canadian political scene as a result of 800-plus words. Atwood acknowledged in her piece that it would be all too easy to take on Thomas Mulcair, leader of Canada’s official opposition, because it could be argued that he is hiding behind his full beard and could therefore be hiding something from the Canadian public.
In reality, Atwood’s piece has nothing to do with hair and everything to do with Atwood’s suggestion that perhaps Harper and his approach to the scandals that have rocked the Conservative Party – Senator Mike Duffy and his expense scandal the most recent among them. Atwood may sarcastically claim that her National Post piece is a “flighty little caper on hair,” but truly, it is more a matter of encouraging the Canadian public to look at their politicians more closely before ultimately making any decisions at the polls.
[Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for LA Times]