Loose Women presenter Carol McGiffin has jumped to the defence of Molly-Mae Hague over criticism regarding remarks she made that made people dub her ‘privileged’, describing the backlash as ‘absolute nonsense’.
During a recent interview on the podcast The Diary of a CEO created by Dragons’ Den star Steven Bartlett, Molly-Mae – who was a runner-up on Love Island in 2019 – made several comments that have sparked controversy, including her belief that ‘if you want something enough, you can achieve it’ and that we all have ‘the same 24 hours in a day’.
The influencer’s Wikipedia page was subsequently hacked, with her name being changed to ‘Molly-Mae Thatcher’, which has since been rectified.
In a statement, Molly-Mae’s reps stated that the star acknowledges that ‘everyone is from different backgrounds’ and that she was speaking about ‘time efficiency relating to success’ and ‘hard work and determination in her own life’, with the Loose Women panel defending the reality star on Friday’s edition of the show.
Sunetra Sarker began by saying that in her opinion, if Molly-Mae was ‘any relative of ours, a 23-year-old girl speaking up and saying “you can do it, you can be anyone”, we’d be so proud to hear this is the next generation of women coming up trying to promote to other people, whatever background they’re from, you can do it’.
She continued: ‘I feel like the message she’s giving is great and it’s exactly where we want young women to be. The problem is she’s got 6million followers, she’s got a YouTube platform. She’s got more reach than TV channels. She’s got people listening that will take offence where she doesn’t mean to make anyone feel offended.’
Carol then chimed in, outlining that Molly-Mae hasn’t reached the current point in her career and being in the public eye by coming from a ‘privileged background’.
‘This is what she’s getting the heat for, because people are saying “you’re from a privileged background, you’ve got what I haven’t got and I should be able to have it, but I can’t have it because I’m from a poor background”. Which is absolute nonsense,’ she said.
The broadcaster referenced people that she knows in her own life who have ‘come from nothing, proper poverty’ and have made ‘something of themselves because they’ve worked hard’, adding: ‘That’s all it takes, it just takes work.’
Carol added that in her opinion, the ‘big problem’ with the reality star relates to her occupation, which she described as ‘not a proper job’, despite Molly-Mae ‘working hard’.
‘I’m saying it’s hard work. It’s well paid, but it’s not a real job and it’s very glamorous and the thing is, a lot of kids now think, “That’s what I want, nothing else will do.” And if they can’t make it, it’s like, well let’s take it out on someone who has made it. And that’s wrong,’ she said.
Katie Piper jumped in to defend Molly-Mae working as an influencer, saying that the star makes it seem glamorous and it is part of her job to make it look ‘effortless’.
She explained the various roles that the 22-year-old carries out on a daily basis, from editing to styling and directing.
‘The trouble is she’s early twenties and she’s not really articulated what she was trying to say possibly in the best way. And it’s a very sensitive time, there’s some incredible key workers out there who are working themselves into the ground in the country and people feel rightly so sensitive and wounded at the moment,’ Katie said.
‘If she’s had said this a couple of years ago, I think it would have been received differently. So I do want to defend her to a certain extent, but I think the timing was possibly bad’ she added.
Christine Lampard pointed out that appearing on reality TV may not be the ‘easy route’ that people think it is.
In the statement from Molly-Mae’s rep, they emphasised that she was speaking from her own experience, not anyone else’s.
‘Her opinion on if you want something enough you can work hard to achieve it is how she keeps determined with her own work to achieve more in her own life. Molly is not commenting on anyone else’s life or personal situation she can only speak of her own experience,’ it read.
Loose Women airs weekdays at 12.30pm on ITV.