Laurence Fox: Actors union Equity apologises for ‘disgrace’ tweets

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Fox said he hoped the apology would be “an opportunity… to celebrate diversity”

Actors union Equity has apologised to Laurence Fox for a tweet by one of its committees that called him “a disgrace to our industry”.

“It was a mistake for Equity as an organisation to criticise him in this way,” said the union in a statement.

Fox appeared as a panellist on Question Time in January, during which he called an audience member “racist” for calling him “a white privileged male”.

His remarks were criticised by Equity’s minority ethnic members committee.

Fox thanked Equity for their comments with a tweet, following a 19-day break from Twitter.

In a previous statement issued in January, Equity said its rules had been “inadvertently broken” and it had been “a mistake to criticise a member of the profession without consultation with the union”.

In that statement, the organisation said “racism is real” and that it had “a proud tradition of fighting racism and campaigning for equality and diversity in the entertainment industries”.

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Media captionLaurence Fox clashes with an audience member on Question Time

On Friday, Equity said it “would like to make clear” that nothing in its earlier statement “was intended as a slur on [Fox’s] character or views or to suggest that he should be denied the ability to work.”

Following the release of Equity’s apology, the members of its minority ethnic members committee – since renamed the Race Equality Committee – said they had “no choice but to resign“.

Fox had said on 24 February he was taking an “extended break from social media“, having become “more and more depressed” after being shocked by “some of the things said to me on these platforms”.

“I am fearing for my future and my ability to provide financially for my children. A thought that keeps has kept me awake most nights. People tell me it will blow over, but when you are in it, it doesn’t feel like it will…” he added at the time.

Equity’s apology was welcomed on social media by Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan, columnist Toby Young and others.

Fox added he hoped it “might [be] an opportunity for us to continue to celebrate diversity in all its forms. Including diversity of opinion.”

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Alan Walker

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