Author Candice Brathwaite has issued a clarification after reportedly being "dropped" from the role of host in a documentary addressing the high death rate of black women during pregnancy and childbirth in the UK.
On Saturday 6 February, Brathwaite, a Sunday Times bestselling author, journalist and TV presenter, shared an Instagram post saying she was "gutted" to learn she would no longer be presenting the programme, shortly after Rochelle Humes announced she was hosting a documentary with the same theme.
After some confusion as to whether Humes had replaced Brathwaite, the author has now clarified that they were in fact working on two different programmes, with Humes's being commissioned by Channel 4.
In a statement on Instagram, Brathwaite said she was "never in the running" to present the show Humes is now appearing in.
"I've been advised that the show with Rochelle was also being developed at the same time I was engaged in discussions [with a different production company] and was obviously commissioned," she said.
She added that her agent had asked the producers if she could co-host with Humes but was told this would not be possible.
"At the end of the day I cannot overstate how important it is for this issue to be spoken about until we are able to save more black women," she said.
"On a personal note I've learned a lot and I'm thinking carefully about my future in TV."
“Hey gang… I’m currently making an investigative documentary, looking behind the shocking statistics that in the UK, black women die during pregnancy, childbirth, and shortly after – at a rate of more than four times that of white women,” Humes wrote in the post announcing her documentary.
“I want to find out why this is, and have met some incredibly brave women as part of my investigation into what’s going on. This is a very difficult and sensitive issue, but I think in order to make a change it’s really important to give a voice to families that have lost loved ones in this nature.”
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She concluded: “I’m hoping in making this film, it leads to tangible changes and solid commitments to bringing these rates down... that’s my goal.”
In an IGTV video shared last week, Brathwaite had disclosed that she had lost out on a job to "a lighter-skinned black woman" and that this was not the first time it had happened. It was unclear if she was referring to Humes in this instance.
The Independent has contacted representatives of both Brathwaite and Humes for comment.
This article was updated at 5.37pm Sunday 7 February after Brathwaite clarified that she was not "replaced" by Humes for the documentary, and that Humes was in fact working with a different production company on a programme with the same theme.
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