Great Britain

Melissa Joan Hart slammed by fans for posting ‘racist’ 1935 image of actors Shirley Temple and Bill Robinson

MELISSA Joan Hart tried to stand for Black Lives Matter by posting a 1935 picture of actors Shirley Temple and Bill Robinson, which followers called "racist."

The 44-year-old actress later deleted the image and replaced it with a Bible verse, but not before fans noticed.

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Melissa, known for her rendition of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, joined many celebs in posting on behalf of Black Lives Matter and protesting police brutality after the tragic death of George Floyd.

However, her post came off as "racist" and insensitive to many of her followers before she replaced it with another post.

The original post was a picture of the iconic 1935 actors in The Little Colonel, along with a lengthy caption.

She wrote: "The post of Mr. Rogers by Danica McKellar reminded me of one of my favorite Shirley Temple movies, The Little Colonel because of the history of the stair dance she did with the incredible Billy 'Bojangles' Robinson.

"When studying the life of Shirley, I learned that it was the first time an interracial couple danced on screen together.

"Bojangles wasn't allowed to hold her hand but Shirley grabbed his anyhow during the dance and it made history.

"She also gave him full credit for making her a better dance, as did Gene Kelly.

"PS. this post was purely meant to show friendship!"

However, fans were quick to point out that the movie and even the term "Bojangles" were racist and offensive, especially during a revolutionary time.

One specific fan wrote: "Did you miss the part about this scene taking part in a plantation? Look, I know you mean well by this, but it's not helpful.

"Black people are begging for our help right now - giving them a story where the white girl is the hero is not it.

"Bill Robinson was an incredible man, but try calling your friends 'Bojangles' and see what they have to say about it.

"I know your heart is bigger and better than this."

Melissa defended her train of thought behind posting the screengrab and said she wanted to portray a story "about friendship and about breaking barriers."

Another fan also called her out and told the mother of three: "I totally get this post. I really do.

"However, the term Mr. Bojangles is used in our communities to describe a black person who panders and entertains white supremacy."

Once more Melissa tried to defend herself and say that Mr. Bojangles was his nickname but Shirley called him uncle Billy.

Despite her trying to explain to her followers her good intentions behind the post, she opted to delete it and replace it with another.

In this case, she posted a Bible verse on her Instagram which read: "There should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.

But again, the post only got her backlash and told her she could "do better" and that they were "disappointed" for her lack of proper response to the situation.

The TV actress had previously talked about George Floyd's death when she shared the image of police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the 46-year-old's neck.

She wrote: "The most horrifying news footage ... took my breath away when I watched a real murder on TV tonight, as those that are supposed to protect us, suffocated a man in the street.

"Unacceptable! I pray there is justice here. But that will not bring him back. I’m at a lack of words or understanding for our world. Rest In Peace George Floyd!"

The death of George Floyd, 46, in Minneapolis sparked protests throughout America, with demonstrators calling for an end to police violence.

Officer Derek Chauvin was filmed in the now-viral video kneeling on Floyd's neck for eight minutes as he pleaded, "Please don't kill me" and said "I can't breathe," before losing consciousness.

Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the case.

New video shows George Floyd 'struggling inside police car' shortly before he was pinned down and 'killed'

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