Actress refuses to appear on Woman’s Hour after accusing host Emma Barnett of degrading comments

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A Girl’s Hour visitor stormed off the present simply two minutes earlier than airtime after claiming she overheard host Emma Barnett discussing if she had made anti-Semitic remarks.

Kelechi Okafor was set to speak in regards to the MeToo motion on the Radio 4 present however left the Zoom name moments earlier than it went reside after the brand new host – in her third day within the hotseat – left her mic on throughout a dialog with producers.

The actress was accused of anti-Semitism in 2017 when she defended Reggie Yates after he praised musicians who weren’t signed to ‘some random fats Jewish man’.

Ms Okafor mentioned within the now-deleted podcast: ‘Black individuals within the leisure business have been short-changed a lot by the sorts of individuals Reggie Yates describes. Aside from the ”fats half” I do not see what he mentioned unsuitable.’

Barnett, who took over internet hosting the favored Radio 4 present on Monday, mentioned she had invited Ms Okafor to debate the matter and ‘stands by her queries’.

She mentioned it was her ‘responsibility to ask individuals what qualifies them as a number one voice in an area. And about any earlier points which can affect their views.’ 

She added: ‘Simply earlier than I went on air this morning to current a particular programme about Me Too – pegged to the anniversary of Harvey Weinstein’s court docket case – it got here to my consideration that Kelechi Okafor had made alleged anti-Semitic remarks. 

‘I stand by my inquiries to my crew and to Kelechi. I might have fortunately hosted her on the programme with a query on this concern.’

She mentioned Ms Okafor denied the allegations. Campaigners have mentioned Barnett’s gaffe meant no BAME voices have been included within the MeToo dialogue.

Revealing she had declined to seem on the present, Nigerian-British actress Okafor tweeted: ‘As a result of what I’ve simply needed to witness is completely degrading and vile.’

The mother-of-one, who has appeared in TV adverts for Maltesers, Samsung and Irn Bru, added: ‘You possibly can have a real concern about one thing you’ve got been advised about me and handle it in a fashion that’s variety. That wasn’t what came about.’

Emma has taken over the Radio 4 staple, which has aired since 1946

The episode airs just days after Jane Garvey signed off her final Woman’s Hour broadcast after 13 years

Emma Barnett (pictured, left and proper on her first present on Monday) has taken over the Radio 4 staple, which has aired since 1946

Kelechi Okafor was set to appear on the BBC Radio 4 show to discuss the #MeToo movement one year after it began. But the British actress took to social media as Woman's Hour was on air, claiming she had come off the programme

Kelechi Okafor was set to seem on the BBC Radio 4 present to debate the #MeToo motion one yr after it started. However the British actress took to social media as Girl’s Hour was on air, claiming she had come off the programme

Ms Okafor tweeted fans to say she left the show after hearing a conversation when a mic was accidentally left on

Ms Okafor tweeted followers to say she left the present after listening to a dialog when a mic was unintentionally left on

Barnett, who took over hosting the popular Radio 4 show on Monday, said she 'stands by her queries' and had invited Ms Okafor to debate the matter

Barnett, who took over internet hosting the favored Radio 4 present on Monday, mentioned she ‘stands by her queries’ and had invited Ms Okafor to debate the matter

The row this morning lead to fevered debate online, and among other guests on the show

The row this morning result in fevered debate on-line, and amongst different visitors on the present

How Kelechi Okafor was accused of anti-Semitism when she defended feedback made by BBC star Reggie Yates 

Kelechi Okafor was born in Lagos, Nigeria, earlier than shifting to the UK on the age of 5 the place she was raised in south London. 

In 2017, the actress was accused of anti-Semitism after she defended BBC star Reggie Yates when he was dropped from internet hosting High of The Pops after making anti-Semitic remarks. 

After Yates praised music stars for not being signed to ‘some random fats Jewish man,’ Ms Okafor mentioned in a now-deleted Apple podcast in 2017: ‘He [Reggie] is saying the reality and it simply goes to indicate the ability of a particular neighborhood that he could make a remark like that and everyone seems to be like ‘whoa no, pull him from High Of The Pops’.

‘Why? Are these Jewish managers not from North West London? I wish to know the place the fallacy is?’

She added: ‘Black individuals within the leisure business have been short-changed a lot by the sorts of individuals Reggie Yates describes. 

‘Why are we not saying it as a type of reality. The actual fact is these males have dominated the business for many years. 

‘He did not say something unsuitable. They’re taking a lot of the earnings.

‘Aside from the ‘fats half’ I do not see what he mentioned unsuitable.

‘They [Jewish managers] like blackness so long as it’s making them cash.’

Ms Okafor studied on the BRIT Faculty of performing arts in London, specialising in Musical Theatre and English Literature.

She has appeared in TV adverts for Maltesers, Samsung and Irn Bru in addition to on stage. 

She is the founding father of the Kelechnekoff Health Studio in Peckham, south London which runs pole dancing and twerking lessons for black ladies and non-binary individuals.

In 2017, Ms Okafor turned the primary black feminine contestant to seem on BBC’s actuality collection Particular Forces: Final Hell Week. 

She ultimately walked out of the competitors as a result of she was ‘annoyed’ with the way in which she mentioned she was handled.

She advised the Guardian: ‘They pieced issues collectively that did not truly make sense in an effort to inform a narrative to the viewers,’ 

‘Kelechi’s struggling, she’s annoyed, she’s arguing with this man.’ In actuality, my frustration got here from the truth that I needed to stroll on eggshells in order to not seem indignant.’ 

Barnett, who’s from a Jewish background, added in her assertion: ‘Simply earlier than I went on air this morning to current a particular programme about Me Too – pegged to the anniversary of Harvey Weinstein’s court docket case – it got here to my consideration that considered one of our visitors, Kelechi Okafor, had made alleged anti-Semitic remarks.

‘I used to be additionally despatched a press report of the transcript of what she had mentioned on her podcast supporting Reggie Yates’s feedback about Jewish male managers and earnings.

‘As Weinstein can be Jewish and was referenced as a part of this similar podcast, I used to be discussing with my producers the function of this visitor in gentle of her allegedly anti-Semitic feedback. Kelechi overheard that chat on our open Zoom hyperlink – with two minutes to airtime.

‘I then straight talked to Kelechi in regards to the allegations, standing by my queries, and mentioned she may put her response throughout within the programme. She denied the allegations and hung up, selecting to now not be a part of the programme.

‘I stand by my inquiries to my crew and to Kelechi. I might have fortunately hosted her on the programme with a query on this concern.’

She continued: ‘I imagine individuals can at all times reply for themselves – however equally it’s my responsibility to ask individuals what qualifies them as a number one voice in an area. And about any earlier points which can affect their views.

‘Any visitor is entitled to make their very own selections about whether or not to seem on a programme however, within the pursuits of equity, I really feel it is vital so as to add some element to the accounts which are at the moment circulating within the press and social media.

‘Girl’s Hour is a superb platform identified for its strong journalism and asking the entire questions that want asking. I’m vastly having fun with my first week.’

However campaigners mentioned her gaffe meant there have been no BAME voices on the present about MeToo.

Finish Violence Towards Ladies Coalition tweeted: ‘I used to be additionally booked for @BBCWomansHour this AM and heard the appalling therapy @kelechnekoff was subjected to minutes b4 broadcast; it was actually unfair after which led to a #MeToo dialogue with no black lady’s voice. Girl’s Hour ought to apologise to her and actually should do higher.’

On the present this morning, Barnett spoke to Hollywood actresses Caitlin Dulany and Rosanna Arquette in regards to the #MeToo motion.  

Posting a video to Instagram, Ms Okafor added: ‘I will not be happening Girl’s Hour now. The host did not realise her mic was on as she was speaking s*** about me to the producers.’ 

A BBC spokesperson mentioned: ‘Throughout an off-air dialog forward of the programme, Emma Barnett and the manufacturing crew talked a few visitor’s function within the dialogue and how one can mirror a few of the visitor’s alleged earlier feedback and the difficulty of anti-Semitism as a part of the Girl’s Hour dialogue on the function of minority voices within the MeToo motion.

‘This was additionally raised straight with the visitor earlier than happening air.’

Ms Okafor claimed that what she had witnessed was, ‘completely degrading and vile.’

She wrote on-line: ‘Myself and the opposite individuals who can be speaking throughout the phase may hear me being talked about like a d******d.’ 

The actress appeared on Girl’s Hour in September final yr, talking about ‘how one can be assertive’ on the present’s How To collection.  

Barnett, pictured leaving the BBC Radio studio today, said: 'I stand by my questions to my team and to Kelechi. I would have happily hosted her on the programme with a question on this issue.'

Barnett, pictured leaving the BBC Radio studio right now, mentioned: ‘I stand by my inquiries to my crew and to Kelechi. I might have fortunately hosted her on the programme with a query on this concern.’

Ms Okafor tweeted fans to say she left the show after hearing a conversation when a mic was accidentally left on

Ms Okafor tweeted followers to say she left the present after listening to a dialog when a mic was unintentionally left on

Writing about why she had left the present, the actress tweeted: ‘Hello guys I am coming off lady’s hour as a result of what I’ve simply needed to witness is completely degrading and vile. 

‘The host did not realise her mic was on as she was speaking about me earlier than the interview began is all I’ll say. 

‘When [the host] clocks the mic is on all of the sudden it is ‘effectively kelechi may you simply clarify to me as a result of I am attempting to offer you an opportunity to elucidate…’ 

‘It was in your producers to have defined and performed their analysis. It was on you to verify your mic. 

‘The necessity for me on right now’s present was to supply stability to those wayward ladies considering that the MeToo motion is now not wanted. 

‘The actual fact is that for those who really feel it is now not wanted in your white center class sensibilities marginalised voices nonetheless want it.

‘We have not heard from everyone concerning the violations they’ve confronted. The originators of the MeToo motion have been Black ladies. From enslaved Black ladies who have been raped by slave house owners to Tarana Burke but their voices are but to be honoured.’ 

Ms Okafor has been contacted for remark. 

During her first episode in the chair, Emma (pictured), 35, spoke with actress Imelda Staunton, Spice Girl Mel C, Jeremy Hunt, Richard Ratcliffe, and Sonia Khan

Throughout her first episode within the chair, Emma (pictured), 35, spoke with actress Imelda Staunton, Spice Woman Mel C, Jeremy Hunt, Richard Ratcliffe, and Sonia Khan

On Monday Barnett, 35, took over the Radio 4 staple, which has aired since 1946. 

BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty moved into the slot on Radio 5 reside that she had beforehand occupied. 

Outgoing host Jane Garvey signed off her closing Girl’s Hour broadcast after 13 years on January 1 – declaring that the ‘present wants to maneuver on and now it could actually’. 

Miss Garvey advised listeners: ‘Throughout the course of those cataclysmic years on Girl’s Hour, I’ve learnt that really, for all kinds of causes, ladies need to be that bit higher, we now have to strive more durable (than males), it should be a bit harder for us.’ 

In the present day’s programme in regards to the ‘Me Too’ motion’ came about one yr on from the beginning of Harvey Weinstein’s court docket case in America. 

Barnett was discussing, ‘what the #MeToo motion has achieved and the unintended penalties.’

However the present additionally sparked anger amongst some listeners after one of many actresses claimed some ladies ‘lied’ about sexual abuse accusations. 

She advised the present: ‘There are the dangerous apples on the market that bounce on the band wagon and perhaps aren’t telling the reality..you hope there aren’t too many liars on the market.’ 

Others took to social media to share frustration about feedback made by visitor Lionel Shriver on the present. 

The American writer claimed MeToo, ‘has made ladies extra paranoid, extra hostile,’ and, ‘diminished ladies within the eyes of males.’ 



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