The supermarket announced that it was “proud” to mark the event, and that customers who were offended by an “inclusive retailer” were “welcome to shop elsewhere”.
Mr Fox responded to the comments by accusing Sainsbury’s of “discrimination” and called on his followers to boycott the supermarket.
“I won’t be shopping in your supermarket ever again while you promote racial segregation and discrimination. I sincerely hope others join me,” he wrote.
The actor faced a backlash from many Twitter users, including Crystal who responded by tweeting: “Imagine being this proud of being a racist. Total snowflake behaviour.”
Mr Fox began replying to those who criticised him over his boycott plans, and reportedly wrote back to Crystal calling her a “paedophile” in a tweet which has since been deleted.
“On Sunday, I criticised Laurence Fox for his views regarding Sainsburys celebrating Black History Month and their commitment to making positive steps towards racial equality,” Crystal wrote in a statement shared on social media.
Here we go. pic.twitter.com/jLE2jTOdOn
— Crystal | Black Lives Matter (@crystalwillseeu) October 6, 2020
“While I am very wary of corporate virtue signalling, the fact remains that we do NOT live in a society that is equal. Incarceration rates, mortality rates during childbirth, and death rates related to Covid being some of the more obvious examples of the ways in which black people and other ethnic minorities are treated as lower-class citizens in this country.”
Crystal continued: “In response to my criticism on Sunday, Mr Fox seriously defamed me, and I have instructed Mark Lewis of Patron Law to sue on my behalf. I will not stand for racism when I see it, and I will not stand for homophobic defamation when it is directed at me.
“An accusation of paedophilia is one of the oldest homophobic tropes, and it was very shocking to have that levelled at me, not just by Mr Fox, but also his many followers who believed him. I may have had to endure homophobic bullying as a child, but I will not tolerate it as an adult. Thank you so much to everyone who has voiced their support.”
🖤🤍 Dangerous Woman 🤍🖤 Thank you all so much for the outpouring of support yesterday! It’s been beautiful. Loads of you have been in touch about making a donation to my legal fees - while this is super kind and generous, it’s not necessary. Instead, I would like to take the opportunity and offer of support to fundraise for Colours Youth Network. (@coloursyouthuk ) Colours Youth Network supports young Black and people of colour who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex (QTIBPOC) to explore and celebrate who they are through meaningful connections to other young people and a team of experienced QTIBPOC youth workers. Their vision is to ensure that across the UK every LGBT+ young person of colour has access to a local provision and support that is led by LGBT+ people of colour. The donation link is in my linktree in my bio - please consider donating! If, after that, you’d still like to support me, you could buy some merch (early Christmas shopping?), a cameo, or a ticket to an upcoming show. Thank you so much! Photo: @peteraf Hair: @weekdaywigs Coat: @erinlaurelhayhow
A post shared by 💎 CRYSTAL 💎 (@crystal.will.see.you.now) on Oct 7, 2020 at 12:54am PDT
Speaking to The Independent, Crystal said that she has had an “amazing response” to her statement, with many people asking how they can support her or help fundraise legal fees.
The drag artist said that while the offer of support is “super-appreciated” she would prefer to “turn the focus back to racial inequality in the UK” and has instead asked people to donate to her fundraising page for Colours Youth Network.
Colours Youth Network is a charity that supports young black and people of colour who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex (QTIBPOC) to explore and celebrate who they are.
Crystal is not the only person threatening legal action against Mr Fox.
I won’t be shopping in your supermarket ever again whilst you promote racial segregation and discrimination.
I sincerely hope others join me. RT#BoycottSainsburys
Further reading here 👇https://t.co/drimdbOzRG https://t.co/I4DOdCuiPl
— Laurence Fox 🇭🇰 (@LozzaFox) October 4, 2020
Simon Blake, who is the CEO of Mental Health First Aid England, is also threatening to sue the actor after he also reportedly branded him a “paedophile” in the exchange of tweets relating to Sainburys’ support of Black History Month.
“I detest racism. Challenging it is important to me, but I will choose my words more carefully in future. I want to be the best ally I can to people impacted by racism,” Mr Blake wrote on Twitter alongside a statement announcing he was taking legal action.
On Monday, Mr Fox said he deleted the tweets, however screenshots of the messages continue to circulate online.
“If the game nowadays is to throw baseless insults and accusations about, then we should all be free to participate,” Mr Fox wrote.
“I have deleted the tweets posted yesterday, in response to being repeatedly, continuously and falsely smeared as a racist.”
I detest racism. Challenging it is important to me, but I will choose my words more carefully in future. I want to be the best ally I can to people impacted by racism. pic.twitter.com/QhQgkCZBLB
— Simon Blake (@Simonablake) October 5, 2020
In response to the initial criticism, a spokesperson for the Reclaim Party - a new political party launched by Fox, previously told The Independent: “Laurence Fox merely accepted Sainsbury’s Twitter invitation for those who disagree with their interpretation of racial equality, to shop elsewhere. Which he will do.
“His views on why Sainsbury’s – in common with similar corporate gesturing – is wrong, divisive and on occasion hypocritical, have been clearly spelt out but it does seem a departure for big retail to be laying down moral strictures to its customers. Go woke. Go broke.”
The Independent has contacted representatives for Laurence Fox for comment.
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