BBC LGBT correspondent Ben Hunte receives racist and homophobic abuse after Laurence Fox tweet

Actor appears to have deleted the tweet about Hunte since posting it in June this year

Roisin O'Connor
Thursday 26 November 2020 14:57 GMT
(Getty Images)

The BBC’s LGBT correspondent Ben Hunte says he and his family have received racist and homophobic abuse from people online, in response to a tweet by actor Laurence Fox.

Hunte shared an image of Fox’s tweet, which included a screenshot of the BBC reporter’s Twitter profile. Hunte’s background image shows him taking part in a 2019 broadcast about Prince William visiting an LGBT+ charity.

Fox had commented: “So glad I’m not paying for this anymore”, and added, “@bbc @defundbbc #DefundtheBBC”.

“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,” Hunte tweeted.

He continued: “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. 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.”

Fox posted his tweet on 8 June this year, but it has since been deleted.

In a statement, the BBC's press team tweeted: "We won’t tolerate abuse and threats aimed at our journalists. They all stick to the BBC’s editorial standards – meaning they need to include a wide variety of viewpoints and voices in their reporting. This should never lead to personal abuse."

A follow-up tweet linked to the BBC’s list of editorial standards, and added that any threats or abuse to its staff would be reported to police.

The Independent has contacted Fox’s representative for comment.

Fox has been a vocal critic of the BBC over the past year. Earlier this month, he was mocked by The Pogues for condemning the decision by certain BBC radio stations to censor the word “f****t” from their song “Fairytale of New York”

The Pogues quoted Fox’s tweet attacking the BBC and commented: “F*** off you herrenvolk s***e.”

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