Actor Laurence Fox was involved in a heated argument with a Question Time audience member on Thursday night over press coverage of the Duchess of Sussex.
The Lewis star prompted a angry debate by saying he was "bored" of talk about racism before accusing the female audience member of being racist herself.
The woman said: "The problem we've got with this is that Meghan has agreed to be Harry's wife and then the press have torn her to pieces.
"And let's be really clear about what this is, let's call it by its name, it's racism. She's a black woman and she has been torn to pieces."
Mr Fox responded: "It's not racism, you can't call... it's not racism. No it's not.
"We are the most tolerant lovely country in Europe.
"It's so easy to throw the charge of racism at everybody and it's really starting to get boring now."
The audience member then said: "What worries me about your comment is you are a white privileged male who has never experienced..."
The actor, who divorced Billie Piper in 2016, hit back saying: "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."
The debate continued online and the actor won a lot of praise from some quarters.
#BBCQT absolutely agree with Laurence Fox - folk see racism everywhere, citing Manchester/North grooming etc. being ignored because of fear of racism.- Maureen Johnson (@Maureen6Johnson) 16 January 2020
Also his frustration over wanting a woman as leader of Labour instead of the best person. Hear, bloody hear. Identity politics👎🏼
Others though condemned his comments.
Activist Femi Oluwole tweeted: "When Laurence Fox calls it racist to point out that he's a white privileged male, when he's trying to downplay racism, even though, as a white privileged male, he has even less of an experience of the adversity racism causes than I do as a black privileged male."