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Profile in Courage: Iceland’s President Denounces Pineapple As a Pizza Topping

Finally, a world leader brave enough to take a stand.

By , a diplomacy and national security reporter at Foreign Policy.
iceland-crop

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.

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

Robbie Gramer is a diplomacy and national security reporter at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @RobbieGramer

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