(CNN)What should have been a heartwarming photo of the Australian Prime Minister posing with his wife and kids has brought out the best in Aussie banter, thanks to one minor problem: the image showed the PM, Scott Morrison, with two left feet.
The Photoshopped picture — in which Morrison appeared to be wearing two white sneakers meant for the left foot — went viral and earned itself the hashtag #shoegate.
#auspol story of 2019: our latest PM (ScoMo) had nice white shoes photoshopped onto his feet for his official https://t.co/eXNtcX7xTa site?! Yup. Regular bloke. Our tax dollars hard at work. #shoegate pic.twitter.com/kA0gG0yy9L
— Luke (@lukerhn) January 8, 2019 The Liberal Party politician, who replaced colleague Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister last year, made light of the situation Wednesday, tweeting a photo of himself wearing a grubby pair of K Swiss sneakers. He blamed his department for the doctored photo, adding: “but if you must Photoshop, please focus on the hair (lack thereof), not the feet!”
Message to my Department (PM&C): I didn’t ask for the shoeshine, but if you must Photoshop, please focus on the hair (lack thereof), not the feet! ?Here they are in all their glory – my footwear of choice whenever I can get out of a suit. pic.twitter.com/hKKUstnArq
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) January 8, 2019 The leader’s spokesman told Reuters the image was changed by staff without Morrison’s knowledge or authorization.Read MoreDespite the attempts at damage control, Morrison was mocked online for the blunder.
— Greig White (@schnozzman) January 8, 2019 Some took up the challenge and focused on the leader’s hair — as he requested.
— P.McGee (@pepeMcGee) January 9, 2019
— The Ordinary Australian (@suzit500) January 9, 2019
— The Ordinary Australian (@suzit500) January 9, 2019 Others made fun of the fact that Morrison is the country’s sixth prime minister in just over a decade.
The shoes are real, they just photoshop in whoever is currently prime minister.
— Cartoonist For The Australian Newspaper (@jonkudelka) January 8, 2019 The rival Green Party couldn’t resist the chance to poke fun at the leader.
— Senator Jordon Steele-John (@Jordonsteele) January 9, 2019 At times a controversial figure in Australia, Morrison was an enthusiastic advocate for the country’s strict border protection regime during his time as immigration minister.In November, he blasted schoolchildren who were organizing protests for action on climate change. Organizers criticized Morrison in an email to CNN at the time. They said he did not listen to climate scientists and failed to take action to stop “dangerous climate change.”