Strictly's Amanda Abbington insists she's not transphobic after deleting Twitter

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Strictly's Amanda Abbington insists she's not transphobic after deleting Twitter

Strictly Come Dancing contestant Amanda Abbington has hit back at claims she is transphobic after she made comments on Twitter that sparked fierce debate.

The 51-year-old actress has starred in a range of hit TV shows – including ITV’s period drama Mr Selfridge and the BBC’s wildly popular detective series Sherkock in which she starred alongside now ex-husband Martin Freeman. But while Amanda has won many fans for her on-screen performances, her online opinions have not always been so well received.

The actress has previously been banned from Twitter three times for controversial comments regarding trans people.

In March this year, Amanda also spoke out about a cabaret for parents and babies that included topless performers, drag acts with risqué names, and performances that were described as “highly sexualised”. Amanda slammed the show – which was ultimately cancelled – saying that she was open minded, but tweeted: “This is bulls**t. Not for f**en babies. And if you think it is, there is something fundamentally wrong with you.”

The rows have resurfaced in recent days after it was revealed the TV star will be competing in the 2023 series of Strictly Come Dancing. And the actress has now deleted her Twitter account amid the renewed backlash.

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Strictly's Amanda Abbington insists she's not transphobic after deleting TwitterAmanda Abbington took to Instagram on Sunday to confront Strictly Come Dancing boycott threats (@amanda_abbington74/Instagram)
Strictly's Amanda Abbington insists she's not transphobic after deleting TwitterThe actress sparked a backlash in March when she criticised a 'sexualised' drag show aimed at kids (Facebook)

Taking to Instagram on Sunday, however, Amanda pitched a passionate defence as she hit back at threats to boycott Strictly over her involvement. Addressing the row over drag queens, said: “Apparently I'm trending on Twitter. I'm not on Twitter anymore. I left voluntarily because I don't like it over there anymore.

“I’m trending because people are going to boycott Strictly and I think it's because of a tweet I made back in March regarding a drag show. Now, I need to make this very clear. I love drag. I think it's an amazing form of entertainment and I f***ing love drag queens. I think they're hilarious and brilliant, and 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 Taking About Jamie and he was a wonderful drag queen, he was wonderful in it. 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.

“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.

Strictly's Amanda Abbington insists she's not transphobic after deleting TwitterAmanda was revealed as one of the 2023 contestants on Strictly on Friday (PA)

“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. I’m not transphobic, I'm not a transphobic person, I'm a firm supporter of the legitimate trans community, I always have been. I think they have been infiltrated by some people who want to cause damage and want to cause trouble, and pit people off of each other and cause as much harm as possible.

“But I would support any trans person who is feeling persecuted or not listened to, or not seen, of course I would. I'm not a nasty person.” She continued: “I support the trans community, I also support women's rights and I support the importance of women within society, and I think those two are being really pitted against each other.

“I do believe that we need to look after kids and we need to look after women, and we need to look after legitimate trans people who are finding it really f***ing difficult at the moment, and I've wanted that for years. I did a stupid comment a few years ago, I can't even remember how long ago it was, but it was a while ago when I was ill informed and it was a stupid thing to write and I instantly regretted it.

“I apologised and I did my research, and I'm much more informed now but the idea I would go after a community that are very sensitive... the idea I would go after the legitimate trans community is not great. I think everybody needs to look after each other a bit more and not go after each other in a negative and horrible way.”

Strictly's Amanda Abbington insists she's not transphobic after deleting TwitterFans might recognise Amanda for her role as Mary Morstan in the BBC's Sherlock alongside Benedict Cumberbatch and ex-husband Martin Freeman (© Hartswood Films 2013)

Amanda added: “I’ve said stupid things, of course I have, and I instantly regretted them. Everybody is learning. We need to take a breath and take a beat. 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 and I'm not pushing it on anyone else. It upsets me when I see kids feeling like they have to do that.

“But I didn't associate it with the trans community nor would I. I'm an ally of the LGBT community and I'm an ally of women's rights and I'm an ally of kids being kids, and I'm an ally of live and let live.” Amanda had been banned from Twitter three times in the past – which she also addressed. The star explained that she had been banned by the social media platform after she targeted big game hunters.

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She said: “I think that's pretty reasonable because they're killing rhinos and elephants and cheetahs and lions and tigers for sport for no f***ing reason other than to make people feel good about themselves.“ Amanda concluded: “I've said stupid things in the past but it's what you do after them that's important. I'm not transphobic and I love women... So I'm sorry if my tweet about drag shows made you feel like you can't watch Strictly, I'm genuinely sorry.“

Mirror.co.uk

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