‘Would you like me to also be a different skin colour and male?’ – Anika Moa claps back at tattoo criticism on Seven Sharp

It only took a week for the Anika-era of Seven Sharp to get its first true fiery moment, writes Alex Casey. 

Tonight on Seven Sharp Anika Moa proved that, if you take a swing at her, you best not miss. Following negative audience feedback regarding her prominent, glorious tattoos, Moa – aided by her co-host Hilary Barry – responded in the greatest way possible: making one big old joke out of one very angry man.

“Hi, I’m Peter,” Barry began, reading the feedback in an extremely overblown Kiwi bloke accent. “This is how I imagine Peter talks because most people with opinions like this talk in a funny voice,” explained Barry, before detailing the contents of the letter disparaging Moa’s “intimidating” tattoos.

“I don’t like to see people such as police displaying tattoos, or see TV presenters displaying tattoos – you currently have a presenter on Seven Sharp displaying tattoos.”

“I’ll just cover up a little bit” Moa whispered, frantically pulling her sleeves over her hands and attempting to cover the exposed parts of her chest and neck. Barry continued, “I will not be watching this programme or any other programme until the tattoos are covered.”

By this stage, Moa had rotated completely around to face the back of the Seven Sharp studio, her tattoos (and face) completely out sight. Somewhere out there, Peter let out a huge sigh of relief. But his state of nirvana was not to last for long.

She swivels back to face the camera, “would you like me to also be a different skin colour and male while you’re at it?”

“I’ve got my feedback to his feedback because I’m a stroppy little thing, aren’t I? My tattoos, or moko as I like to call them, are a direct link to my whakapapa – family tree – and my whānau and I’m really proud to have my culture on my skin.”

“There are more important things to talk about: children going to school with no food, youth suicide rates, mental health, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, prison reform.”

“And lastly” said Moa, slowly slipping into an almost unintelligible lisp, “thou who judgeth the mosteth, mustenth be happiest-th, themself-th, sadliesth.”

“Slay it sister,” said Barry.

One ad break and an absolutely classic Tim Wilson yarn about whether or not people should use a top sheet later, Moa was back with the perfect revenge segment: footage of herself getting yet another tattoo.

“And if you think tattoos are bad I’ve got more bad news for you: I’m also a gay! HA HA HA HA!” Moa cackled, descending into a schoolyard ‘I am gay’ chant complete with hand motions.

Hilary Barry shook with laughter, barely getting through her lines about the Commonwealth Games and young people singing with Dave Dobbyn. I think I speak for everyone – apart from Peter – when I say this: mayeth thou continue-th to slayeth it at 7pm, sisters.


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