Stacey Dooley has written a new response to the Comic Relief “white saviours” row, saying her intentions were never “sinister”.
She’s been criticised for making a film in Uganda, and posting a picture on Instagram of her with a black child.
Comic Relief announced yesterday that TV appeals “will be heading in the direction of not using” celebrities.
Stacey says she understands the conversation, but the people she filmed with were happy with her behaviour.
In February Stacey posted a picture of her with a black child and the caption “OB.SESSSSSSSSSSED”.
MP David Lammy criticised Stacey for her film and social media posts at the time, saying “the world does not need any more white saviours”.
She tweeted him in response, saying: “David, is the issue with me being white? (Genuine question)… because if that’s the case, you could always go over there and try raise awareness?”
Comic Relief co-founder, the writer and director Richard Curtis, announced yesterday that the charity would use fewer celebrities in their films and be “very careful to give voices to people” who live in the areas being highlighted.
Stacey posted a new picture this morning, of her with a black woman.
One of the comments on that picture said: “At least this black person is old enough to consent to being in a photo with you.”
In response to that, Stacey wrote: “I understand the wider conversation that people want to have, and I understand that some are saying they feel it’s a tired narrative… I get that.
“What is not OK is people making out like we were somehow sinister in our approach.”
She then appeared to refer to her original picture with the boy: “It’s completely untrue to suggest we didn’t ask for consent. We spent the day with his grandad. He has a working relationship with Comic Relief.
“I’m willing to listen and learn, however I’m not willing to feel I have to justify myself to those who have already made up their mind, based on info they’ve been fed, by people who weren’t there,” she continued.
“Ultimately, the main priority is that the people on the ground felt happy with my behaviour.
“I’m still in contact with the families and the health workers and the fixers.
“I’ve taken on board what people are saying. Clearly Comic relief have too.
“Essentially, what I’m saying is, of course everyone is entitled to their opinion and to voice concerns. But please make sure you have the information and you’re not making comments based on assumption x x.”
Stacey Dooley was asked questions about her Comic Relief trip to Africa during a Q&A session at Sheffield Doc/Fest.
She’s heard saying, “If David Lammy had picked up the phone and said ‘I would like to have a calm conversation’ I would have said no problem at all.”
Annalisa Toccara was at the event and tweeted about Stacey Dooley’s response saying she showed “a lack of understanding.”