The government’s race equality chief Tony Sewell apologises for vile homophobic comments he made 30 years ago
Tony Sewell, the head of the UK government’s new commission on race and ethnic disparities, has apologised for vile anti-gay comments he made 30 years ago.
The charity boss told The Guardian that the comments he made in a newspaper column in 1990 were “wrong and offensive”.
Sewell’s 1990 column was published shortly after Justin Fashanu came out as gay, making him the UK’s first openly gay footballer.
Writing in the Voice newspaper at the time, Sewell said: “We heterosexual are sick and tired of tortured queens playing hide and seek around their closets. Homosexuals are the greatest queer-bashers around. No other group of people are so preoccupied with making their own sexuality look dirty.”
The government’s race commission chair Tony Sewell said his comments on gay people were ‘wrong and offensive’.
Sewell has apologised for the comments.
“I am sorry for my comments from 30 years ago which were wrong and offensive,” he said in a statement.
“They do not reflect my views today nor indeed the views of modern society. I am committed to championing the cause of equality and diversity across all of our communities, including for LGBT+ people.”
Sewell runs a charity called Generating Genius, which works with BAME youth to help them build careers in the science and technology sectors.
The gay rights movement is surely a human struggle for homosexuals to be treated equally. Who said anything about a community?
In a 2013 Readers Digest interview, Sewell said that “minority” status was holding back Black and gay young people.
“Instead, in the case of certain musicians, authors and others, it can bring you money and fame. This is a corruption and a deceit,” he said.
“We need to ditch gay pride and Black pride. Both are meaningless,” he added.
He continued: “The gay rights movement is surely a human struggle for homosexuals to be treated equally. Who said anything about a community?”
His appointment has been met with derision from many activists.
Sewell’s appointment as chair of the government’s commission on race and ethnic disparities has faced widespread backlash from many within the Black community.
Writer Nels Abbey said “no self respecting person” should work with the commission under his leadership.
“It is an explicit absolute racist joke,” he wrote on Twitter.
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“Tony Sewell is a known racism denier/collaborator. Shun this rubbish and move on with your life.”
Others were also quick to criticise the government for the appointment.
At some point this government is going to run out of Black people they can appoint to do anti-racism work, who don’t believe in anti-racism. But in the meantime we still have Tony Sewell https://t.co/nGl47ltBLs
— Afua Hirsch (@afuahirsch) July 17, 2020
When the UK government stops appointing people like Tony Sewell and Trevor Phillips to head these race commissions and inquiries, I’ll start believing that there’s a chance that the government wants to implement meaningful change. Until then, it’s all just lip service.
— * (@Uwnayna) July 16, 2020
PinkNews has contacted Tony Sewell and Downing Street for comment.