Strictly Come Dancing star Amanda Abbington addresses backlash over tweets after accusations of transphobia


Strictly Come Dancing star Amanda Abbington addresses backlash over tweets after accusations of transphobia

Newly announced Strictly Come Dancing contestant Amanda Abbington has responded to threats to boycott the show over her previous tweets, which have been criticised by some fans as transphobic.

The British actress, who is best known for TV shows including Sherlock and Mr Selfridge, was one of the first stars to be revealed for this year’s Strictly, which will also feature broadcaster Angela Rippon, journalist Krishnan Guru-Murthy, actor Layton Williams, comedian Eddie Kadi, and TV presenter Angela Scanlon.

After Abbington’s name was announced for the hit BBC series, comments she made about a show aimed at parents and their babies aged from newborn to two resurfaced online – with some critics of the star calling her transphobic.

In a lengthy video statement posted on Instagram on Sunday, the 49-year-old clarified her stance.

“I need to make this very clear,” she said. “I love drag. I think it’s an amazing form of entertainment and I f****** love drag queens. I think they’re hilarious and brilliant… it’s an art form and I think there’s absolutely a place for it in the entertainment industry. My son played Jamie in Everyone’s Talking About Jamie, and he was a wonderful drag queen.

“But my tweet back in March was regarding a 12-year-old who was doing it in front of adults. And it just upset me because I saw a kid, a little kid, a 12-year-old, doing something very over-sexualised. And I didn’t think it was right…

“And that was my tweet. I didn’t associate that with the trans community, nor would I associate that with the trans community, because I think they’re two separate things. And I’m not transphobic… I am a firm supporter of the legitimate trans community.”

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Abbington went on to say she would “support any trans person who is feeling persecuted or not listened to or not seen” and that she also supports women’s rights and “the importance of women within society”.

She continued: “And I think those two are being really pitted against each other. And what we need to do now more than ever is just make sure that everybody is looking after each other… I don’t want everyone to be at each other’s throats.

“I do believe that we need to look after kids and we need to look after women and we need to look after the legitimate trans people who are finding it really f****** difficult at the moment.”

Abbington admitted that she had said “stupid things” in the past and “instantly” regretted them.

“Everybody’s learning and we need to take a breath and take a beat and look after each other,” she continued. “So I’m sorry if you feel like 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 acts.

“That’s my personal opinion, that’s all. I’m not pushing it on anyone else, I’m just saying that’s how I feel.”

Abbington also addressed why she is no longer on Twitter (now X), saying she left voluntarily “because I don’t like it over there anymore”.

Strictly Come Dancing will be back on TV this autumn, judged by Shirley Ballas, Anton Du Beke, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse, with more contestants set to be announced.

British wildlife presenter Hamza Yassin and professional dancer Jowita Przystal were the winners of the competition in 2022.


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