- By Robbie GramerRobbie Gramer is a staff writer at Foreign Policy. He writes for The Cable, FP’s real-time take on all things, well, foreign policy. Before he joined FP in 2016, he used to think in a tank, managing the NATO portfolio at the Atlantic Council for three years. He’s a graduate of American University’s School of International Service, where he studied international relations and European affairs. He has lived in both Washington and Brussels, though he grew up in Idaho and Oregon, so he’s a West Coaster at heart. When he’s not busy reporting, he’s probably busy starting three new books before he has finished the last one or planning a trip to a national park he hasn’t visited yet.
Iceland’s leader vowed he would tackle one of the most divisive issues of our time if only he had the power: pineapple as a pizza topping.
Icelandic President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson was fielding questions during a visit to a local high school when one student threw a curveball his way, asking the leader his opinion on whether pineapples are a viable topping for pizza.
Jóhannesson answered the question as any self-respecting pizza-lover should: He said he was fundamentally opposed to the concept of pineapple as a pizza topping and if he had the power to do so, he would ban the practice entirely, reported Icelandic news outlet Visir.is.
The statement sparked uproar on the ‘net from pineapple lovers and haters alike. Even DiGiorno Pizza got involved:
(Author’s note: Objectively speaking, pineapples are a horrible pizza topping and anyone who says otherwise is on the wrong side of history.)
The ensuing controversy prompted Jóhannesson to write a response on Facebook in both English and Icelandic clarifying his comments, and reminding us all of the pitfalls of autocracy in the process:
“I like pineapples, just not on pizza. I do not have the power to make laws which forbid people to put pineapples on their pizza. I am glad that I do not hold such power. Presidents should not have unlimited power. I would not want to hold this position if I could pass laws forbidding that which I don’t like. I would not want to live in such a country. For pizzas, I recommend seafood.”
It’s unclear whether the pineapple pizza-gate scandal rocking Iceland like a volcanic eruption hurt Jóhannesson’s approval ratings (which, at 97 percent approval as of December, may be a source of jealousy for another certain president you may be familiar with). But either way, kudos to you, President Jóhannesson, for taking a stand.
Photo credit: HALLDOR KOLBEINS/AFP/Getty Images