Laurence Fox accused a woman of racism for calling him a “white privileged male” and described the Meghan Markle race row as “boring” during a controversial appearance on Question Time on Thursday night.
The actor was discussing the debate surrounding press coverage of Markle, following her and Prince Harry's decision to step down as senior royals.
A woman in the audience argued: "It's racism, she is a black woman, and she has been torn to pieces."
Fox dismissed this view, shaking his head and saying: "It's not racism. We're the most tolerant lovely country in Europe.
"It's so easy to throw the card of racism at everybody... and it's really starting to get boring now."
The audience member responded with: "What worries me about your comment is you are a white privileged male."
Fox then interrupted her with "oh god" and added: "I can't help what I am, I was born like this, it's an immutable characteristic.
"So to call me a white privileged male is to be racist. You're being racist."
His controversial comments sparked a backlash on social media, prompting Fox to tweet that his Twitter feed was "like Christmas come early".
"Speak truth to nonsense,” he added.
Fox, who is also a musician, is best known for starring in TV drama Lewis from 2006 to 2015.