US Ambassador to New Zealand Has Already Managed to Piss Off New Zealand

Image via Getty.
Image via Getty.

In a little nugget of a story so perfectly emblematic of the casual ignorance of Trump administration officials, former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, now the Trump-appointed ambassador to New Zealand, has managed to offend New Zealand over a lack of cultural awareness. (Remember, this is the guy who wanted Sen. Elizabeth Warren to take a DNA test and is alleged to have hit on a Fox News anchor, so really, it was only a matter of time before he offended someone else.)


Brown confirmed to New Zealand website Stuff that the State Department had opened an investigation into “innuendo and rumour” about his behavior at a Peace Corps event in Samoa in July. At the event, he reportedly told some of the guests they looked “beautiful” and told one female server she could earn hundreds of dollars as a waitress over in America—which, yes, is rude thing to say!

“When we walked into the Peace Corp event we walked in and there was a receiving line and prior to walking they were all like dirty and grungy,” Brown told the website, expressing shock that his comments were seen as offensive. He attended the event with his wife, Gail Huff. “We walked in and everyone was dressed to the nines. They all looked great, Gail looked great, you know I was dressed up and Gail and I both walked in and said ‘you guys are beautiful, you look really handsome sir, you guys are great’. And apparently somebody took offence to that.”

“Fine...I did say it,” he conceded. “Gail and I did say it absolutely.”

“Absolutely told people they could make great waitresses,” he continued. “I would say that to my kids too, in between jobs, hustling one, two, three jobs. Just get some money in your pocket and get out of there.”

“And as a result of that I was told that, ‘you know, listen you’re not Scott Brown from Ryan, New Hampshire any more, you’re an ambassador and you have to be culturally aware of different cultures, and different sensitivities’ and I’m always welcoming that kind of advice,” he continued.

The most remarkable part of his Brown’s half-hearted apology for his cultural ignorance is that he mostly blamed not himself, but an anti-Trump attitude.“At this event there were a lot of people that didn’t like [President Trump],” he said. “Sadly it’s politics and it is what it is.”


If only these comments cleaned up half as nice as Brown perceived the waitstaff.

Prachi Gupta is a senior reporter at Jezebel.



Why is it so hard for these people to be polite. You can compliment someone on their service without making it sound like “omg you’re almost good enough to be an American”.