Magda Szubanski trolled by conspiracy theorists over COVID-19 ad

Magda Szubanski is another target of right-wing extremists. Source: Victorian Government

Magda Szubanski -- or ‘Sharon’ from Kath and Kim -- is facing vicious personal attacks from online trolls and conspiracy theorists after she appeared in a Victorian government ad.

In the light-hearted ad, the Australian comedian plays the character of Sharon from Kath and Kim.

Dressed in a netball outfit, Szubanski emphasises the importance of listening to the government’s health advice.

She tells Victorians: “the sooner we obey the rules, the sooner this will all be over and we can get back to the stuff that really matters: netty.”

Some complained about the nature of the ad.

But the commercial put some conspiracy theorists and COVID-19 denialists into a tailspin when Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews shared the ad on Twitter.

“End the lock downs and mandatory masks; both more dangerous than anything Covid can do to us. You are not fooling anyone,” one person wrote.

“I've just lost all respect for Magda Szubanski for getting on this fake band wagon, so sad that Magda has to stoop this low,” added another.

“Jenny Craig wants their money back,” another person said.

Confronted by a downpour of online hate, Szubanski responded: “Troll me much as you like I am NEVAH gonna close my Twitter account. Bring it Covid Deniers - let’s see what you got.”

Szubanski was met with a second wave of trolling after controversial chef Pete Evans labelled the ad “offensive” and “disgraceful” in a post to his 1.5 million Facebook followers.

He also claimed if celebrities like Magda wanted to help people they would “eat anti-inflammatory healthy food” and “get outdoors”.

Evan’s fans sledged Szubanski in the comments under the post, calling her a “pig” and a “cow”.

On Twitter, Szubanski accused Evans and his followers of “fat-shaming” her.

“#fatshaming me & assertion that fat people have no place in discussion about public health not only insults me but also all the fat nurses, doctors, ambos etc who give so much,” Szubanski wrote.

“My Polish gran was fat & a nurse & she risked her life to hide Jews from the Nazis,” she added.

“Frankly I am sick to fucking death of skinny people (yes Pete Evans and your followers) assuming they are morally and spiritually superior.”

Evans took to Instagram to deny he’d fat-shamed the comedian.

“Nope. I never said it and never will. All I said was the ads on tv using these people are the most disgraceful and offensive I have ever seen,” he wrote.

“Get your facts right media and I have always loved Madga as an artist.”

Szubanski has since experienced an outpouring of love and praise from many Australians.

The Melbourne Vixens netball team posted a video supporting the comedian and calling out online abuse.

While journalists and commentators labelled Szubanski a “national treasure” and claimed the abuse she’d been dealt is typical of the treatment women receive online.

Szubanski told The Today Show an e-security person had said the online abuse she received was “some of the worst trolling that they had seen”.

“I’ve been called everything from a puppet of the communist party to a Nazi responsible for the murders of the people,” she said.

“Being accused of being a supporter of lockdown and thereby causing murders is pretty confronting.”

But Szubanski said despite the vitriol she’s received, she believes wholeheartedly in the government’s message to stay at home.

If people don't follow the rules, we're not going to beat this thing,” she told The Today Show

“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. "