Margot Robbie has been making the rounds in promoting The Legend of Tarzan, and it seems she has managed to offend the entire country of Australia, her homeland, with the recent Vanity Fair interview conducted by Rich Cohen. There hasn’t been as much controversy surrounding an interview since Cara Delevingne’s awkward Paper Towns interview last year. This time, the controversy wasn’t raised by the way Margot behaved -she was a perfect lady- but in what she said about Australia.
Margot Robbie Angers Australians By Calling Their Country A “Throwback”
The Legend of Tarzan actress sat down with Rich Cohen of Vanity Fair to do a tongue-in-cheek interview in which both Robbie and Cohen poke fun at Australia, but once the article hit the stands, a tidal wave of criticism was launched back at Margot and the Vanity Fair interviewer. It seems Australians took great offense to having their country insulted in the name of a joke. Ms. Robbie herself got the ball rolling, when she compared Australia to “America 50 years ago, sunny and slow, a throwback.”
“They still live and die with the plot turns of soap operas in Melbourne and Perth, still dwell in a single mass market in Adelaide and Sydney,” added Cohen.
Margot again picked up the ball, when she commented that she was raised in Queensland, where “a dingo really will eat your baby,’ reports Page Six.
Australians have already taken to social media to blast Robbie and Cohen for their comments, but even that backlash couldn’t compare to a published response in Australia’s national paper, the Australian.
“If there’s one thing Australians will not stand for, it is being ridiculed by America.”
In describing the article, the online community has used words such as “creepy,” “ignorant,” and “patronizing”.
Rich Cohen Responds To Criticism Of Margot Robbie Article: “It’s A Compliment”
The International Business Times caught Rich Cohen’s response to the Australian people’s hatred of the article in which Cohen says he thought the reaction was “funny,” especially when it was never intended to be offensive. In fact, Rich had hoped the comparisons made between Australia and the United States would have been taken as a compliment.
“To the extent that the point is serious, it’s a compliment. I’m saying that Australia is still a unified country whereas our American culture has shattered into warring camps. Australia had what we lost,” explained the journalist.
Overall, Cohen says his interview with Margot Robbie was meant to be entertaining and humorous, and he had hoped the Australian people would have been just as amused by the interview as anyone else might have been. He adds that while he feels his intentions were misunderstood, he doesn’t fault Australia for feeling offended.
“I’m not sure about being too sensitive. I wouldn’t presume to tell other people how to feel. I’m just telling you my intent. Humour. Entertainment. And an appreciation for a country that seems to be cohering in a way mine isn’t at the moment,” Cohen said.
While Rich’s feelings are obvious in his reaction, it’s difficult to know just how Ms. Robbie intended her own words to be taken. Margot seemed to be speaking more seriously, but without hearing her tones and inflections, one can’t say for sure. One quote from Robbie, in particular, implies some resentment for her homeland.
“There’s a thing in Australia called tall-poppy syndrome,” says Margot. “Have you heard of it? It’s a pretty prevalent thing—they even teach it in school. Poppies are tall flowers, but they don’t grow taller than the rest of the flowers, so there’s a mentality in Australia where people are really happy for you to do well; you just can’t do better than everyone else or they will cut you down to size.”
[Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images]