Film star David Harewood hits out at Laurence Fox comments on black actors

Following his Question Time appearance last week Fox now claims black actors only complain about racism once they are famous

CRITICISM: David Harewood

Leading actor David Harewood has called out fellow actor Laurence Fox over controversial comments about black actors.

Fox, best known for his leading role as DS James Hathaway in ITV series Lewis, hit the headlines last week after becoming embroiled in a row over ‘white privilege’ on BBC Question Time.

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During a debate on whether it was racism that has caused Meghan Markle to quit the UK, academic Rachel Boyle branded Fox ‘a white privileged male’ after his claim that Britain was ‘he most tolerant, lovely country in Europe’.

Now Fox has again caused controversy.

CONTROVERSY: Actor Laurence Fox caused controversy after his recent appearance on BBC Question Time

Speaking on a podcast hosted by right-wing commentator James Delingpole, Fox said: “The most annoying thing is the minute a black actor – it’s the same with working class actors – the minute they’ve got five million quid in the bank, every interview they do is about how racism is rampant and rife in the industry.”

“And with working class actors, ‘There’s not enough working class actors’. You weren’t saying that when you didn’t have a f*****g pot to p**s in were you?”

However Harewood hit back at Fox’s comments.

He tweeted: “I’ve been speaking up on the lack of work for black actors in the UK for about 20 years. I’m now acting in and directing American television… and I still don’t have 5 million quid.”


He added: “I don’t need to @ Mr Fox. He is an irrelevance to me, his ideas are so common I’ve been dealing with them most of my life. It’s standard, normal. I just have to do my best to navigate around such opinions.”

Harewood was backed by other leading figures from the entertainment world.

Popular actress Maxine Peake tweeted: “Black & w/c actors can only speak the truth once they’re established – their voices aren’t heard before.

“Posh actors, on the other hand, only complain when they want attention.”

Peake added: “Anything s**t to sell @LozzaFox or is it just a coincidence you’ve gone right wing? Hope it’s worth it.”

Comments Form


  1. | Jax

    People of colour should not have to explain themselves anymore. I’m glad Fox is on the back foot. The panic in his demeanour is one I am revelling in.
    What we’re witnessing could be compared to kidney donations – you’re a donator unless you opt out. You are racist unless you call it out. A racist denier until you say you’re not.
    For too long we have quietly contemplated when to pick our battles against racism in all its colourful variety. We listened to our parents and elders share their stories of oppression determined to handle it better. What we have is passive aggressive, drip fed persecution invisible to the caucasian eye, but damning crystal clear evidence to us.
    Pick our battles. Like an abuser knows how to hit where the bruises won’t show is a life lived any given day by a black person facing racism.
    I’m middle aged now and feel free to speak out, call it out where I was silenced before.
    Fox and his ilk know. Don’t tell them or ask them anything. They know. The trick is to convince us that we don’t know. To convince others that we don’t know. They don’t want to have to explain they’re not bigots. Let him have the chip on his shoulder. It’s time.


  2. | Maureen Nicholls

    There was nothing racist in what Laurence Fox said. Meghan Markle was welcomed with open arms by Britain and the royal family alike. If this was not the case then it would have been made public by now, I find it hard to believe that what has evolved since she met Harry has anything to do with race. But i would be interested In hearing about when and where even some of this racial abuse took place. I am not saying racism does not exist in Britain, unfortunately there are elements of racism in every country in the world, without exception and I doubt this will ever change if we are being realistic, but can we not allow people to speak out without being branded racist, xenophobic or whatever, in order to shut down further discussion.
    This tactic is becoming tiresome. Racism is wrong full stop. I applaud Laurence for airing his views, because I believe a ‘white privileged Old Harrovian’ is entitled to his views just like everyone else. Laurence is correct, it is absolutely racist to believe otherwise. He was specifically speaking about Meghan Markle and the assumption that she was driven out of this country by racism. I agree with Laurence in that I dont believe it. it is so easy to go along with the herd. It takes courage to stand your ground whether you are black, white,yellow or brown.


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