Charlene wrote a 2013 blog post about not wearing a poppy (Picture: Rex)
Charlene White has opened up about how ‘overwhelming’ it was when she suffered a torrent of online abuse directed at her by the far-right EDL (English Defence League), explaining that it reduced her to tears.
In November 2013, Loose Women presenter Charlene spoke out after experiencing racist and sexist abuse for choosing not to wear a poppy on ITV News on Remembrance Day.
In a blog post published on the ITV website at the time, she wrote that she is a ‘patron of a number of charities’ and so she prefers ‘to be neutral and impartial on-screen so that one of those charities doesn’t feel less favoured than another’.
In a new interview, Charlene said that she frequently suffers ‘horrific abuse’ online, stating that as ‘a black woman in the public eye’, she is perceived by some trolls as ‘fair game’.
Speaking to OK magazine, the presenter said that it ‘all came to a head when a member of the EDL said, “I’ve heard there’s a black girl on ITV that doesn’t wear a poppy” and told his followers to abuse me in any way they could find me’.
Charlene recollected receiving ‘thousands’ of vitriolic remarks, including a derogatory campaign being launched calling for her to be fired.
Presenter, pictured in 2013, said she is told to ‘go back where you came from’ (Picture: ITV)
The TV personality said that while she usually finds the online abuse she experiences ‘manageable’, that ‘overwhelming’ incident ‘upset me a lot’ and reduced her to tears.
‘Any time I talk about anything to do with race, it’s like a barrage of online abuse comes in my direction. But some of that I believe is lack of education,’ Charlene said.
The broadcaster said that one of the most common comments she receives is: ‘Go back to where you came from.’
‘It’s like, “Dude, for a start my parents were British subjects when they came here”,’ she said, adding that there is ‘a real lack of understanding of our history’.
Charlene is presenting an upcoming ITV documentary alongside newsreader Sir Trevor McDonald titled Trevor McDonald & Charlene White: Has George Floyd Changed Britain?
The hour-long documentary explores how the death of Mr Floyd affected people in the UK, with the pair looking at the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement, investigating prejudice in Britain and speaking to people across the nation.
Trevor McDonald & Charlene White: Has George Floyd Changed Britain? is set to air on Wednesday May 12 at 9pm on ITV.Credit: Original article published here.