Anthea Turner, a prominent British television show presenter, was blasted for a popular meme she posted that was deemed as offensive and insensitive to overweight and disabled people by a UK lawmaker Jess Phillips.
Turner caved, backed down, and apologized after the backlash and claimed the post was not aimed at clinically ill people but those who do not make healthy choices, such as keeping fit.
The photo showed a masked obese woman in a wheelchair holding a McDonald’s bag, saying “Put a mask on! You’re putting my health at risk,” to a much slimmer lady. She captioned the photo, “Go for it!! X.”
She followed up the tweet with messages about how people who do not take care of their health should not be prioritized for coronavirus. In one follow-up tweet she said:
“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.”
The viral meme is a popular online meme that has been shared continuously over the last year.
While many people agreed with her sentiments, some criticized her for insensitivity.
“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 law’s life while she has chemo. Stop the goddamn hierarchy of whose life matters!!!” tweeted Jess Phillips, a Labour member of parliament in the UK.
Turner later apologized for sharing the meme, emphasizing it was not aimed at clinically ill people.
“Totally apologize that the cartoon is clumsy – I’ll take the rollicking on the chin,” she wrote in her apology tweet.
“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 wake-up call and we’d be nuts not to try and fix it.”