Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addresses video of her 'bumping' sign language interpreter that's gone global

Viral footage of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has led to accusations in global media that she "barged a sign language interpreter out of the way" during a press conference. 

The footage, taken on Friday during the Government's COVID-19 press conference, shows Ardern stepping away from the podium to allow Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson to speak. 

As Ardern shifts further to her left, the sign language interpreter is forced out of the shot. The interpreter can then be seen stepping around Ardern and taking her place next to Robertson, where she resumes her sign language duty. 

Video of the moment soon went viral on TikTok, with several global media outlets - from CNN, to the Daily Mail and GB News - reporting on the outrage expressed online. 

CNN's Jeanne Moss, in her report, described the scene as Ardern "bigfooting her interpreter off the screen", and "physically edged the interpreter out of the picture". 

Moss also reported on "the look the interpreter gave her boss", referring to the expression on the interpreter's face. But Moss also acknowledged Ardern's "expression of surprise" when the interpreter reappeared beside her, "followed by an apologetic smile". 

Moss also compared the moment to when former US President Donald Trump was filmed appearing to push aside Montenegro's Prime Minister in 2017 during a NATO summit. 

"If you want to see a push, this is a push," Moss said.

The Daily Mail described the footage of Ardern as "astonishing", and speculated that the interpreter was "not happy" about being "barged out of the way", due to her facial expression. 

Deaf Aotearoa CEO Lachlan Keating on Twitter described the Daily Mail's reporting "rubbish", and quashed speculation about the interpreter being unhappy. 

Ardern told reporters on her way into Parliament on Tuesday that it was not intentional. 

"She was to my left and I was trying to not get in the way of my colleagues and cross over them and maintain social distance," she said. 

"But of course, in doing so, I cut her off - not intentionally, as you can imagine, and I apologised to her at the time."