Laurence Fox row rages on as he mocks Question Time guest with ‘stunning and brave’ hashtag

Harriet Brewis
BBC

Laurence Fox has fuelled the flames of a heated social media row by mocking his BBC Question Time opponent in a sarcastic tweet.

The actor accused academic Rachel Boyle of racism when she said he had “white privilege” in a fierce on-air debate about Meghan Markle’s treatment by the British press and public.

Mr Fox, 41, has been widely criticised for his comments during Thursday's programme, when he also said claims of racism in Britain had become "boring".

Ms Boyle thanked the public for their “amazing” support on Twitter earlier today, writing: “Being a Black academic researching race and ethnicity isn’t easy. Having conversations with ill informed privileged people isn’t easy. But THIS is what I came to do.”

But Mr Fox was quick to hit back at her message, retweeting it with the scornful caption: “Hang in there! We are all behind you! #Stunningandbrave.”

The Lewis star and ex-husband of actress Billie Piper has ended a number of tweets with the hashtag, in what appears to be a sardonic nod towards so-called political correctness.

‘Stunning and brave’ was the title of a 2015 episode of US satirical cartoon South Park in which one of the characters is violently assaulted for employing “politically incorrect” language.

The term was used to describe Caitlyn Jenner in the South Park episode (South Park Studios)

Mr Fox used the term again to respond to a tweet from Lily Allen.

She wrote: “Sick to death of luvvies like Lawrence (sic) Fox going on TV and forcing their opinions on everybody else, when he’ll never have to deal with what normal people have to deal with in his gated community.

“Stick to acting mate. Instead of ranting about things you don’t know anything about.”

The 41-year-old responded: “Lily Allen is the most stunningist and bravery artist in the whole wide world. #stunningandbrave.”

The Question Time exchange unfolded when, discussing Meghan’s treatment by sections of the British press and public, academic Rachel Boyle said: “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. We’re the most tolerant, lovely country in Europe. It’s so easy to just throw your charge of racism at everybody and it’s starting to get boring now.”

Ms Boyle replied: “What worries me about your comment is you are a white privileged male.”

Rolling his eyes, the Rada graduate, who attended one of the country’s most exclusive private schools, retorted: “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.”