Actors are being called on to “unequivocally denounce” Laurence Fox, after he became in embroiled in a race row during an appearance on BBC1’s Question Time.
Equity’s minority ethnic members committee described his words on the programme as “disgraceful playing to the gallery” and labelled him a “disgrace to our industry”.
The comments come after Fox addressed comments made by Question Time audience member Rachel Boyle, who said the Duchess of Sussex had been the victim of racism.
“Let’s be really clear about what this is, let’s call it by its name – it’s racism. She’s a black woman and she has been torn to pieces,” Boyle said.
Fox responded by saying: “We’re the most tolerant, lovely country in Europe. It’s not racism. It’s so easy to just throw your charge of racism at everybody and it’s really starting to get boring now.”
When Boyle described him as “a white privileged male” he replied: “I can’t help what I am, I was born like this, it’s an immutable characteristic, so to call me a white privileged male is to be racist — you’re being racist.”
Responding to the exchange, the minority ethnic committee said it was “extremely disturbed” that Fox had been given a platform to “berate and bully women of colour attempting to discuss issues of race and gender discrimination”.
It went on to describe Fox as a “disgrace to our industry” and said he had “occupied a highly advantaged position”, but added that he had appeared to “damn any recognition of that privilege as the very racism he claims is exaggerated when people of colour try to discuss it”.
The committee used its Twitter account to claim he was guilty of “a disgraceful playing to the gallery, a populist tirade, with women of colour being used as cannon fodder”.
“We call on all Equity members to unequivocally denounce Laurence Fox and his comments,” it added.
In response, Equity said: “These tweets were sent out by two committee members without consultation with the committee as a whole or Equity staff. Equity has asked for the tweets to be taken down while a more considered response to the issue is discussed.”