Laurence Fox boycotts Sainsbury’s after it supports Black History Month

Actor accused the supermarket of promoting ‘racial segregation and discrimination’

Sarah Young
Monday 05 October 2020 10:41 BST
(Getty Images)

Laurence Fox has said he will be boycotting Sainsbury’s after it promoted Black History Month.

Last week, the supermarket chain announced it would be marking Black History Month, an annual observance of black history and culture celebrated around the world, which began on 1 October.

In a tweet shared with its 570,000 followers, Sainsbury’s said: “We are proud to celebrate Black History Month together with our Black colleagues, customers and communities and we will not tolerate racism.

“We proudly represent and serve our diverse society and anyone who does not want to shop with an inclusive retailer is welcome to shop elsewhere.”

On Sunday, the actor responded to the supermarket’s tweet and accused it of “promoting racial segregation and discrimination”.

“Dear @sainsburys. I won’t be shopping in your supermarket ever again whilst you promote racial segregation and discrimination,” Fox wrote.

“I sincerely hope others join me. RT. #BoycottSainsburys.“

Sainsbury’s later responded to Fox’s tweet with a comment, writing: “The ‘safe spaces’ we created in response to the Black Lives Matter movement were online support groups that helped our black colleagues come together, share their experiences and support one another.”

Fox’s tweet sparked a debate on Twitter with some supporting his stance while others accused him of “attention seeking”.

“I agree with loads of what you say, so this is not a criticism but I can't understand why this is promoting racial segregation,” one person commented. “Are companies not allowed to celebrate sections of their workforce? I may be missing something here.. someone enlighten me!”

Another added: “They aren't promoting racial segregation though, they are telling the racists to not bother shopping there if it's a problem. But you're just attention seeking and know that already.”

A third person wrote: “How do you get to the conclusion that Sainsbury's promoting racial segregation and discrimination? That's literally the opposite of what their statement says!”

Hitting back at the criticism, Fox later shared another tweet, writing: ”Dear blue ticker leftists. You can screech “racist c***” “gammon c***” “massive c***” and all the c***s you like at me, but wouldn’t it be better to discuss and find some common ground?

“Also people aren’t buying it anymore. I’m proud of our country and all those in it.”

In response to the criticism, a spokesperson for the Reclaim Party - a new political party launched by Fox, told The Independent: “Laurence Fox merely accepted Sainsbury’s Twitter invitation for those who disagree with their interpretation of racial equality, to shop elsewhere. Which he will do. 

"His views on why Sainsbury’s – in common with similar corporate gesturing – is wrong, divisive and on occasion hypocritical, have been clearly spelt out but it does seem a departure for big retail to be laying down moral strictures to its customers. Go woke. Go broke.”

 Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Sainsbury’s added: “At Sainsbury’s we strive to be an inclusive retailer where people love to work and shop. Earlier in the year we created online support groups for black colleagues across the business. These “safe spaces” helped our black colleagues come together, share their experiences and support one another. We represent and serve our diverse society and are proud to be celebrating Black History Month with our colleagues and customers.”

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