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US Historians Accidentally Used Tony Abbott To Illustrate '1984' And It's Incredible

The show is making audiences "faint and vomit".

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Remember how Tony Abbott was prime minister of Australia for a while back there and gave some shady looks that were chilling?

Stefan Postles / Getty Images

Well, the conservative prime minister has an incredibly sculpted head and an intimidating stare.

Mark Nolan / Getty Images

Earlier this week, historians at the US Smithsonian Institution posted a story about a new Broadway adaption of George Orwell's book 1984, which is apparently making people "faint and vomit".

Twitter user Jimmy Raynes and several others all picked up on something about the illustration.


That Big Brother looks awfully like the 28th prime minister of Australia.


You couldn't not see it.


It turns out the Smithsonian's illustration is from a piece of Melbourne street art featuring the mug of Tony Abbott.

Tony Abbott and LNP launch their new strategy for 2015 #Australia #Orwell #streetart #hosierlane #Melbourne #auspol

While it's not an official Liberal National Party poster, there's a hint at the bottom about who the new Big Brother is.

The 1984-inspired piece is from street artist Chris Murray.

As Twitter user Matt Burke discovered, the street art had found its way into a stock image library and popped up when you searched "1984 Big Brother".


There you have it. Historians now have a new visage for Big Brother and it's none other than the Australian prime minister who once took a big bite out of a raw onion.

20th Century Fox

Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Mark Di Stefano at

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