BBC’s LGBT+ correspondent Ben Hunte and family sent homophobic and racist abuse after Laurence Fox tweet
The BBC’s LGBT+ correspondent Ben Hunte said he was sent racist and homophobic abuse Laurence Fox included a photo of him in a barbed tweet.
Ben Hunte, a 29-year-old journalist who was announced as the broadcaster’s first LGBT+ correspondent in December 2019, took to Twitter to reveal that he and his loved ones have been sent “racist and homophobic abuse” following Fox’s tweet.
“My family and I have been sent racist and homophobic abuse following the below screenshot of me being posted,” he wrote Thursday (26 November).
“I am fine – but I will let the police take over.”
He included a screenshot of the since-deleted tweet, in which Fox posted a screen capture of Hunte’s Twitter profile and captioned it: “So glad I’m not paying for this anymore.”
The actor, who was recently dropped by his agent after being accused of racism, capped his tweet off with the hashtag “Defund the BBC”.
My family and I have been sent racist and homophobic abuse following the below screenshot of me being posted. I am fine – but I will let the police take over. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/Bw8GMfeMOH
— Ben Hunte (@BenInLDN) November 26, 2020
Hunte pleaded with followers to leave his family alone.
“If you disagree with my job, or with the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines, or with wider LGBT-related decisions I am not involved in, please do not contact my family with hate,” he continued.
“Please use the BBC’s complaints process.
“I am doing my job to the best of my abilities. I am proud of being a journalist and so grateful to those who share their experiences with me. Thank you.”
Hunte was previously named number one in the 2020 Pride Power List, an annual ranking published by DIVA Magazine that recognises 100 of the most influential LGBT+ people in the UK.
“Since starting the role, Ben has uncovered how Black male victims of sexual abuse are ignored by the government and broke the news of HRH Prince William supporting a hypothetical LGBTQI royal,” his profile in the list said.
Laurence Fox accused of ‘homophobic defamation’ after calling two gay men paedophiles.
In October, Drag Race UK star Crystal and Simon Blake, CEO of Mental Health First Aid England and Stonewall UK deputy chair, announced their intent to sue Laurence Fox for defamation after he branded them both paedophiles.
The pair, who are both gay men, had criticised Fox on Twitter after he lashed out as Sainsbury’s for commemorating Black History Month.
Fox accused the retailer of “promoting racial segregation and discrimination”.
Crystal, who starred on the first season of Drag Race UK responded: “Imagine being this proud of being a racist! So cringe. Total snowflake behaviour.”
Replying to her, Fox tweeted: “Says the paedophile.”
Blake called Fox “a racist t**t”, to which he replied: “Pretty rich coming from a paedophile.”
In a statement, Crystal said: “I will not stand for racism when I see it, and I will not stand for homophobic defamation when it is directed at me.
“An accusation of paedophilia is one of the oldest homophobic tropes, and it was very shocking to have that levelled at me, not just by Mr Fox, but also his many followers who believed him.
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“I may have had to endure homophobic bullying as a child, but I will not tolerate it as an adult. Thank you so much to everyone who has voiced their support.”
In a statement posted to Twitter, Fox said: “If the game nowadays is to throw baseless insults and accusations about, then we should all be free to participate…
“Having said that, I have deleted the tweets posted yesterday, in response to being repeatedly, continuously and falsely smeared as a racist, as they just serve as a distraction to the important work that needs to be done.”
He later admitted he had been dropped by his agent over the row.
PinkNews contacted a representative of Laurence Fox for comment.