Anthea Turner Apologises After Sharing Fat-Shaming, Ableist Meme

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Former Blue Peter presenter Anthea Turner called out for sharing a fat and disability shaming meme on Twitter. Turner posted an anti-mask meme on the microblogging site and drew flak for being insensitive.

The meme had a McDonald’s customer on a wheelchair berating a thinner woman for not wearing a mask, pointing out that it’s a “health risk”. A speech bubble read: ‘Put a mask on! You’re putting my health at risk!’

Turner shared the post alongside a caption that read: Go for it!

The 60-year-old TV presenter triggered people with her comment. The cartoon backfired as the comment section flooded with Twitter users calling her out for the act. 

Labour MP Jess Phillips tweeted: ‘The Anthea Turner thing this morning has just about done me in. I just wish the idiots would just admit that the wind on their face is more important than my sister in laws life while she has chemo. Stop with the god damn hierarchy of whose life matters!!!’

Piers Morgan, Good Morning Britain presenter and journalist, also responded to Turner’s tweet and wrote: ‘What the hell is this? Have you lost your mind, Anthea? Just despicable.’

Morgan later shared another post in which Turner said: “Sadly those of us who have genuinely tried to protect the NHS by looking after our bodies are paying the terrible price for those who have chosen lazy lifestyle choices.”

Following the reactions, she apologised and called the cartoon “clumsy”. However, Turner clarified that her intentions weren’t to direct it towards “clinically ill” people. 

“Totally apologies that the cartoon is clumsy – I’ll take the rollicking on the chin. But this was never directed at people clinically ill who need our support. My passion is sincere though Covid has to give us a bloody big health wakeup call & we’d be nuts not to try & fix it,” she wrote on Twitter.

The post came hours after she had posted a link to a report on obesity being a bigger killer than smoking in England and Scotland. She quoted a study claiming that “obesity bigger killer than smoking”.