TVNZ is apologising after Breakfast hosts fired at a doll of former US President Donald Trump using a look-a-like gun during a live broadcast.
All four presenters took turns during yesterday’s morning show using a bug killer fashioned in the shape of a gun and a Trump doll as a target.
The stunt has been widely condemned by viewers questioning whether the action of a mock shooting was appropriate.
Today TVNZ said while it was intended to be a fun segment, “further consideration should have been given to the perception created by using this product on a political themed toy.
“This segment on Breakfast was intended to be a light-hearted look at the popular Bug A Salt,” TVNZ told the Herald.
“Our team trialled the salt bullets on each other’s arms and legs before grabbing a Trump troll doll that was in the office to showcase the product further.
“We apologise if this segment upset any of our viewers.”
In yesterday morning’s segment, presenter Chris Chang gave a demonstration of the Bug-A-Salt salt gun, used to kill flies and insects, using a doll of former US president Donald Trump as a target.
Chang then impersonated Trump’s New York accent, saying: “That was huge, we’ve gotta get rid of these guys, they’re coming into our country,” before host Jenny-May Clarkson also shot the doll.
Host Matty McLean then addressed viewers by speaking directly to the camera and said: “Get a little doll, a Donald Trump doll, and go hard.”
Among the outraged social media users, David Seymour took to Twitter to question the appropriateness of encouraging people to shoot a doll of a politician given recent reporting on political abuse and vitriol.
“Trump’s not my favourite politician either, but is this the same TVNZ that’s been complaining about the abuse of politicians for the last week?”
“Insane,” Seymour said.
Another Twitter user said: “Imagine the outrage if American breakfast TV show hosts took turns shooting a Jacinda Ardern doll with salt guns while laughing and mocking her.”