NSPCC lost 180 donations in one week after cutting ties with transgender activist Munroe Bergdorf

Charity accused of giving in to 'transphobic hate campaign'

Sarah Young
Wednesday 03 July 2019 15:54
Munroe Bergdorf says trans people are treated like 'second-class citizens' after NSPCC cuts ties with her

The NSPCC saw a rise in the number of cancelled donations during the same week it cut ties with transgender model and activist Munroe Bergdorf, the charity reports.

Between 7 and 14 June, the children’s charity said there were 183 more cancelled donations than in a comparable week in May, states not-for-profit and charity publication Third Sector.

Speaking to The Independent, an NSPCC spokesperson said the charity often experiences “natural fluctuations week to week/month to month”, and that it could not confirm how many of the cancellations were a direct result of the furore surrounding its association with Bergdorf.

On 5 June, Bergdorf tweeted that she was “proud to be announced as Childline’s first LGBT+ campaigner”.

She added: “The wellbeing and empowerment of LGBTQIA+ identifying children and young people is something that I have been passionate about throughout my career as an activist.”

However, just two days later the NSPCC, which runs Childline, posted a statement on their website saying Bergdorf “will have no ongoing relationship with Childline or the NSPCC”.

The charity said Bergdorf had incorrectly been referred to as an “ambassador” and added that it “does not support, endorse or authorise any personal statements made by any celebrities who contribute to campaigns”.

Speaking to the BBC, Bergdorf revealed she was not contacted by the charity before they released the statement and claimed that being a trans person in the UK is “like being a second-class citizen”.

The activist also suggested she was dropped as a result of a “transphobic hate campaign on Twitter”.

On 6 June, Turner tweeted: “Hey @NSPCC can you please explain why a children’s safeguarding charity has hired a porn model as a Childline ambassador?”

A spokesperson for Bergdorf clarified with The Independent that she has never participated in the creation of any pornographic material.

“We are extremely sad and disappointed about what has happened,” the spokesperson said.

“Childline asked Munroe to come on board as an LGBT+ Campaigner to let LGBT+ children know that Childline is a safe place for them to contact.

“But to see them bow down to pressure from a transphobic lobby running a hate campaign, falsely stating that she is ‘a porn model’ and threatening to withdraw direct debits to the charity, without so much as an email or phone call to discuss the situation, is heartbreaking.”

Following a widespread backlash from the LGBT+ community the NSPCC publicly apologised to Bergdorf.

In a public statement, Peter Wanless, the charity’s chief executive, said the NSPCC’s decision to stop its association with Bergdorf had nothing to do with her being transgender, but was because of “concern around the lack of process that our organisation used when deciding to work with Munroe”.

He added: “When appointing an ambassador we are required to consider whether the relationship supports our ability to safeguard children and be influential in safeguarding children.

“The board decided an ongoing relationship with Munroe was inappropriate because of her statements on the public record, which we felt would mean that she was in breach of our own risk assessments and undermine what we are here to do.

“These statements are specific to safeguarding and equality.”

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Bergdorf acknowledged the apology on Twitter, adding: “I appreciate the formal apology. This situation has been extremely stressful and unnecessary.

“I just want to move on from the whole ordeal.”

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