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Sweden or Switzerland?

Celebrity Fight Over Swedish "Neutrality"

Published torsdag 29 januari 2009 kl 11.19
Actress Jessica Alba

A war of words has broken out in Hollywood between actress Jessica Alba and Fox News presenter Bill O’Reilly and a showbiz gossip website on whether Sweden is neutral.

In a red-carpet interview Alba told a reporter ”to be Sweden about it”, referring to Sweden’s neutrality, in a phrase that usually uses Switzerland as its example. She also criticized O’Reilly, causing the controversial tv-host to laugh at her Sweden comment, claiming that she was ”a pinhead” for thinking that Sweden was neutral.

This was picked up by several gossip sites, which also chose to laugh at the actress’ alleged lack of political knowledge. When the actress hit back, pointing out that Sweden was also a neutral country, blogs, internet forums and gossip sites in the US were overrun with comments from readers eager to take one side or the other.

Just for the record, despite the fact that Sweden does have peace-keeping forces around the globe, it is still non-aligned, despite calls by the Swedish Liberal party to join NATO. Alba was right, even though she got the phrase wrong.

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