Amanda Abbington attends the "Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One" UK Premiere
(Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

‘Strictly’ Casting Sparks Boycott Over Transphobic Comments—Again

Actor Amanda Abbington was announced on Friday (August 4) as one of the 2023 contestants for Strictly Come Dancing and it has upset some fans, who say they will be boycotting the show.

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Over the past few years, the 49-year-old has made several comments across multiple social media accounts that have been deemed transphobic and have earned her the title of ‘TERF‘ (trans-exclusionary radical feminist). This includes a comment on a Facebook post from 2020 where she wrote, “You cannot have a penis and want to be referred to as a woman.” She has also been banned from Twitter numerous times and caused an uproar when she expressed concerns in March about ” a 12-year-old who was doing [drag] in front of adults.”

Metro reported the show in question was a baby sensory and cabaret show that featured men in drag wearing knee-high boots and bondage gear.

In a follow-up tweet, she said, “I lost quite a few followers for saying that a semi-naked man in thigh-high boots dancing in a highly sexualised way shouldn’t be performing in front of babies and it tells me everything I need to know about where society is heading. How do you not agree with me on this?”

In her video addressing the boycott on Instagram (as she has deactivated her X account), she said, “I need to make this very clear, I love drag and I think it’s an amazing form of entertainment and drag queens are entertaining and brilliant … I’m not transphobic, I’m not a transphobic person, I am a firm supporter of the legitimate trans community.

“The idea that I would go after a community that is very sensitive is not great. I think everybody needs to look after each other a bit more and not go after each other in a horrible and negative way.

“I’m sorry if you feel you need to boycott Strictly for a tweet I made about a drag show. But I don’t think 12-year-olds should be doing overly-sexualised drag shows”.

However, there has been some support for Amanda’s participation in the show, with those who share her beliefs coming to her defence.

https://twitter.com/Toby1979_/status/1687870561970802688?s=20

People criticized her use of the word “legitimate” when discussing trans people, with one person commenting underneath her Instagram video, “This video -seems- agreeable apart from the use of ‘legitimate trans people’—it says a lot without saying a lot, implying that we should expect trans people to ‘prove’ their gender, though we’re rightly horrified when that’s asked of women. liberation from patriarchy is only possible when all people are accepted regardless of the way they conform to gender expectations.”

Amanda then responded to the backlash of her use of the word “legitimate.”

“I mean [legitimate] in the sense that there are people who will absolutely take advantage of the trans community for their own benefit. Like with every community, there will be some individuals who aren’t in it for the right reasons. That’s what I mean. There is a hijacking going on and it’s affecting the trans community.”

Though her comments aren’t super recent, the actress could very well still believe what she wrote, particularly judging by the ‘legitimate’ comment. It also doesn’t stop transphobes rallying around her on Strictly, with people telling her not to apologize for her beliefs and those who say, “Oh, I won’t be boycotting!” Whether she likes it or not, she has given TERFs reason to think their voices should be loud and what they say is acceptable—and that’s where the real issues lie.

(featured image: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)


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Author
Brooke Pollock
Brooke Pollock is a UK-based entertainment journalist who talks incessantly about her thoughts on pop culture. She can often be found with her headphones on listening to an array of music, scrolling through social media, at the cinema with a large popcorn, or laying in bed as she binges the latest TV releases. She has almost a year of experience and her core beat is digital culture.