Strictly Come Dancing contestant Amanda Abbington has responded to claims she’s ‘transphobic’ after fans of the show threatened to boycott it over her controversial tweets.
The British actress, who has starred in a range of popular TV shows such as Sherlock and Mr Selfridge, was one of the first stars to be revealed for this year's Strictly line-up.
But she faced backlash after comments she made on Twitter about a show aimed at parents and their babies resurfaced online, with many accusing the star of being ‘transphobic.’
Amanda had hit out at the event advertised as a family cabaret that included drag acts.
Making her feelings on the show known, she said that the performance was 'not for babies', adding: “If you think it is, there is something fundamentally wrong with you.”
On March 2 this year, she tweeted: "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?”
According the Daily Mail in separate comment she had also said: "If you don't actually have proper, real breast milk in your breasts, just don't try and breastfeed your baby."
After deleting her Twitter, Amanda took to her Instagram to post a lengthy video defending her actions.
She said: "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…
“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."
The star then hit back at allegations that she is 'transphobic,' insisting: "I’m not transphobic, I'm not a transphobic person, I'm a firm supporter of the legitimate trans community, I always have been."
She continued: “I support the trans community, I also support women's rights…
"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."
Amanda then addressed those who are threatening to boycott strictly, concluding: "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."
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