Australian comedian, Magda Szubanski claims she has become the victim of COVID-19 deniers after appearing in a new public health campaign in Victoria.
The 59-year-old says she has been viciously trolled after reprising her Kath & Kim character, netballer Sharon Strzelecki, to urge Victorians to follow the state’s public health restrictions.
“It’s not the lockdown that is the enemy,” Strzelecki tells the camera, while wearing a face-mask.
“It’s the virus, and the sooner we obey the rules, the sooner we can get back to what matters.”
Szubanski appeared on the Today show this morning to speak about the backlash she says she’s received since the ad campaign launched.
“I have really copped it,” Szubanski said.
“An e-security person told me it was right up there with some of the worst trolling that they had seen.
“In some ways I’m kind of like come out into the sunshine. Bring it. Let’s see what you’ve got. But some of the personal attacks are really nasty.
“I’ve been called everything from a puppet of the communist party to a Nazi responsible for the murders of the people. Being accused of being a supporter of lockdown and thereby causing murders is pretty confronting.”
The comedian told Today she was currently suffering from a shingles outbreak and hadn’t been able to see her family during Melbourne’s stage four restrictions.
“I totally believe in this message,” the comedian said.
“As Sharon says, ‘I’m over this lockdown’.
“I haven’t seen my family, my sister’s in Queensland, she had some health issues, I wanted to visit her, my brother is in rural Victoria.
“If people don’t follow the rules, we’re not going to beat this thing. And the thing is, we – the people can. We’ve got the power.. We can either let the virus control us or we can control the virus by doing a few simple things.”
Szubanski told one of her close friend’s lost a relative to coronavirus and said she had been left dismayed at some attitudes to the elderly.
“The way the people talk about the elderly is like they are expendable… my mate next-door, his father died of COVID, so that’s horrible,” Szubanski said.
“It impacts everything.
“I’m at that age group where all of my friends have got parents in nursing homes, some have had their parents die, you know.
“Look, I know people are feeling it way worse than I am. But if this message helps protect healthcare workers and stop this lockdown as soon as possible, I’m in.”