Anthea Turner apologises after 'clumsy' Covid-19 cartoon sparks backlash

12 February 2021, 13:55

Anthea Turner has apologised after posting a controversial cartoon online
Anthea Turner has apologised after posting a controversial cartoon online. Picture: PA Images/Twitter
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Anthea Turner has apologised after posting a controversial cartoon on Twitter which sparked a backlash and accusations of mocking the disabled.

The TV presenter tweeted an image mocking an obese woman in a wheelchair asking someone to "put on a face mask" to protect her health.

She captioned the image: “Go for it!” and went on to criticise the “selfish attitudes” of people who she accused of “lazy lifestyle choices” that “endanger us all”.

However, she apologised in a later post, saying: "Totally apologies that the cartoon is clumsy. I’ll take the rollicking on the chin."

She claimed her post was "never directed at people clinically ill" and that her "passion is sincere though Covid has to give us a bloody big health wakeup call".

Turner wrote in the initial thread: “I’m incensed by the selfish attitudes of people who can’t see we actually are ‘all in this together’ & willful destruction has an impact on us all especially those with other illnesses pushed down the line & charities who are missing out on funding.

“We have to take responsibility.”

She added: “If the government put half the amount of money into health as they have in locking us up we wouldn’t be in this mess. Keep McDonald’s open and close gyms many council run and open air - Great.”

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The post quickly received backlash online, with Labour MP Jess Phillips tweeting: "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!!!"

One Twitter user replied: “How dare you, how ignorant can one person be!

"I have a son who is a full-time wheelchair user and overweight due to his medication, he is severely medically vulnerable and relies on us who are able to, to wear a mask to keep him safe.

“V. poor choice of a visual for your argument.”