NEW YORK -- The controversy surrounding Labour’s much-maligned “Barbie Bus” crossed the Atlantic on Sunday, with John Oliver delivering a comic rebuke to the party’s female outreach programme.
“It s a little insulting that you’re trying to appeal to voters the same way Mattel attempts to appeal to 8-year-olds,” joked the British comedian on 'Last Week Tonight'.
“At least Barbie’s pink bus had the good sense to unfold into a sweet hot-tub-and-party-den combo – that thing was sick,” he said, adding: “The only way it could be more patronising… is if they refused to let women drive it.”
Oliver went on to lambast Labour for failing to apologise, instead trying to deny the bus was pink, showing a clip of Labour MP Gloria De Piero “hitting rock bottom” for being forced to go on television and act like she "doesn’t know the colour pink."
"It’s, like, pink…cerise…it’s certainly a version of pink, I would say,” the MP told a reporter.
“You can see her thinking, ‘I got into politics to make a difference, and now I’m on television desperately trying to act like I don’t know the color pink. What happened to my life?’” responded Oliver.
To conclude, the Last Week Tonight team unveiled their own version of a Labour outreach advert, featuring a “Pretty Princess Pony”.
The bus was revealed earlier this month as part of Harriet Harman's campaign to target the nine million women who failed to vote in the last general election ahead of May's vote.
Harman said the decision by the party to mount its first "proper" women's campaign - with a pink, 16-seater minibus touring the country - reflected the need to demonstrate that politics was not just a "men-only" activity.