Amanda Abbington has explained why she is competing in Strictly Come Dancing 2023 after previously stating that she is not transphobic.
On August 4, the Sherlock actress, 49, was unveiled as the first participant for this year’s glamorous BBC dance programme.
She will compete with Layton Williams and the oldest-ever participant Angela Rippon when the popular series returns, with the lineup still being finalised.
During an Instagram Live on Wednesday, Amanda revealed that she had joined the blockbuster series to fight ‘negative’ stereotypes about menopause and menopausal women, whom she described as ‘invisible’ to society.
She said: ‘I’m not going to shy away from trying to push myself – we have to try and embrace the menopause and there’s so much negativity around the menopause, it upsets me.’
Amanda quipped that she came on Strictly to disgrace her children Joe, 17, and Grace, 15, whom she has with ex-Martin Freeman.
After seeing footage from a Caba Baba Rave, a baby sensory and cabaret act for parents and their infants aged 0-2 years, Strictly fans uncovered social media postings she wrote about drag queens.
Following a video of the rave showing a person dancing in boots and a bondage harness, Amanda tweeted that the show was ‘not for babies’ and said that ‘if you think it is, there is something fundamentally wrong with you’.
In a subsequent tweet, she penned: ‘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?’
After being accused of transphobia, she added: ‘I never mentioned the trans community! How on earth is my post transphobic.’
‘I’m saying you do not perform that kind of act in front of BABIES. It’s abhorrent’, she blasted.
In a long video posted to Instagram over the weekend, the Sherlock actor said she is ‘not transphobic’ and addressed those who are refusing to watch Strictly 2023 because of her.
Speaking about the tweet she explained: ‘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.
‘Personally speaking, I don’t think 12-year-olds should be performing in drag shows in overtly sexual ways because they’re 12 and they need a childhood, it’s nice for kids to have a childhood and grow up and find that out when they’re old enough to really understand it.’
‘And that was my tweet. I didn’t associate it with the trans community, nor would I associate that with the trans community, because I think they’re two separate things,’ she said.
Describing drag queens as ‘hilarious and brilliant and an art form’, Amanda added: ‘I think there’s absolutely a place for it in the entertainment industry.’
Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One and iPlayer later this year.