Laurence Fox has sparked a furious backlash after sharing a flippant reference to the Blackout Tuesday movement in the wake of George Floyd's death.
Taking to Twitter on Tuesday night after millions across the world boycotted social media by filling their feed with black squares, the actor, 42, wrote: 'Instagram seems to be broken.'
The movement was aimed to give people an opportunity to reflect on and learn about the Black Lives Matter movement and racial equality, sparked by Floyd's death at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis on May 25.
Under fire: Laurence Fox has provoked further controversy after using his Twitter platform to comment on the Blackout Tuesday movement currently sweeping across social media
Addressing his 183,000 followers, he wrote: ‘Instagram seems to be broken.’
The comment sparked an inevitable wave of criticism, with many followers condemning Fox for being 'twisted, racist' and missing the point.
Responding to the actor, one wrote: 'Obviously your thinking is. Making a joke about people showing solidarity for the appalling way black people have been & are still being treated for generations is pretty twisted.'
While another added: 'And the most privilege blind award goes to L Fox. Your blind spot is immense!'
Comment: , Fox appeared to make a flippant reference to the lack of movement online – sparked by black man George Floyd’s death at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis
Target: The comment sparked an inevitable wave of criticism, with many followers condemning Fox for missing the point
Hitting out: Followers lashed out at the actor shortly after reading his post, with one accusing him of 'racism'
A third commented: 'No Laurence. People are ending racism. Just as they ended the conflict in Sudan with a blue profile picture.'
Hitting back at the actor, another outraged follower wrote: ‘I’m sorry, have I missed something here? Is the problem that black police officers are wantonly murdering whites people and I have somehow got the wrong end of the stick?’
Slamming Fox, another added: 'I believe you officially qualify as a racist now. You can’t say Instagram is broken'
Support: Others sided with the actor, with a faction describing those who opted to post black squares across social media as 'virtue signalling sheep'
Others sided with the actor, with a faction describing those who opted to post black squares across social media as 'virtue signalling sheep.'
Agreeing with Fox, one wrote: Virtual signaling people are out in force on insta . Aaaah sad.'
While another promptly added: 'They’re just having a sackcloth and ashes narcissist party over there today. It will be mostly back to normal tomorrow.'
Previously: The actor son of celebrated screen star James Fox has been targeted for his outspoken political views following a controversial appearance on BBC show Question Time in January
Fox (left) was involved in an extraordinary slanging match last night with Question Time audience member Rachel Boyle (right), a lecturer in race ethnicity
Laurence Fox's QT highlights
On a being actor on flying around the world: 'Yeah the carbon footprint is huge - but we make up for it by preaching to everyone else about how they should change their lives'.
On Meghan and Harry quitting: 'I feel sorry for them, in a way, because it's difficult when you have a young baby and all that but surely Harry should have had a chat with Meghan at some point and said: 'By the way this is going to be misery and you don't have to marry me if you don't want to'.
And then they hop out and I think, can we have the cottage back and your HRHs? I do sympathise with them but there is a little bit of having your cake and eating it, which I don't enjoy'.
On racism and Asian sex gangs: 'We need to call out racism when it's seen and stand together to condemn it - but for fear of sounding racist there have been series of horrific things happening in Manchester and other towns all across the north of England and we should be careful and not call someone racist because they don't agree with you'.
On the north: 'The people here are much nicer than anyone you'll meet in London, ever'.
On the Labour leadership: 'Hmmm, who should replace magic grandpa. Keir Starmer? He just looks like he can take Boris on. That the vibe I get'.
Shami Chakrabarti accused him of ignoring female candidates and he replied: 'Oh God it's not about women, jeepers creepers. Sorry, let me rewind. Any of the women. Is that better? Any woman. Because it's really important what your gender is or what your sexuality is rather than what your policies are'.
Dismissing the movement, a third commented: 'It’s depressing, they’re all sheep. The majority have no idea why they have a black screen.'
Another follower quipped: 'I think we all need to salute the bravery of white middle class liberals courageously foregoing posting pictures of their avocado toast and oat milk flat whites for a whole 24 hours.'
The actor son of celebrated screen star James Fox has been targeted for his outspoken political views following a controversial appearance on BBC show Question Time in January.
Struggle: Laurence couldn't cope with what he was hearing and looked like he was banging his head on a desk during his exchange with Boyle
Fox accused black university lecturer Rachel Boyle of 'being racist' on Question Time after she called him 'a white privileged male' for denying Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex was hounded from Britain for being mixed-race.
He shot back at her: ''Oh my God. I can't help what I am, I was born like this, it's an immutable characteristic: to call me a white privileged male is to be racist - you're being racist'.
Their angry exchange began when Boyle said criticism of Meghan in the media had been motivated by 'racism', adding: 'She's a black woman and she has been torn to pieces.'
Here we go: Fox posted a telling tweet after the show - a nod to the extraordinary scenes that would be broadcast later
Nonplussed: He later brushed off the criticism and said he'd 'rather eat a lightbulb' than learn more about white privilege
But Fox hit back, saying: 'it's not racism' and continued: We're the most tolerant, lovely country in Europe… it's so easy to throw the charge of racism at everybody and it's really starting to get boring'.
In the ensuing aftermath, which prompted condemnation and praise in equal measure, actor's union Equity were forced to backtrack from comments it posted online branding him a 'disgrace to our industry' and calling on members to 'unequivocally denounce him' for his remarks.
Backtrack: In the ensuing aftermath, actors union Equity were forced to backtrack from comments it posted online branding him a 'disgrace to our industry' and calling on members to 'unequivocally denounce him' for his remarks
Equity posted the statements online before later deleting them and claiming that they had been published by two rogue members of its Minority Ethnic Members committee.
However, in a later twist, actor and Equity MEM committee member Jassa Ahluwalia claimed the statement had been approved before being shared on social media.
The union's intervention triggered fury on social media, with actress and member Alice Evans saying: 'This is not fair. Equity you are speaking on behalf of thousands of actors who have not shared this opinion. This is beyond your mandate.
'I have not expressed views on either side but as a member of Equity I have certainly NOT denounced Laurence Fox and neither should my union be doing so on my behalf. Kind of shocked.'
Stepping away: In February Fox said he would be taking an 'extended break from social media' as he condemned a 'cancel culture' that pushes 'people to the edge of their ability to remain emotionally ok'
He also said that he feared for his future and his 'ability to provide financially' for his children, despite stressing the need to 'stand up to bullies'.
Fox, who has two children with actress Billie Piper, said he would take an 'extended break from social media' as he condemned a so-called 'cancel culture' that pushes 'people to the edge of their ability to remain emotionally ok'.
He dismissed people's concerns that the troubles would 'blow over', claiming: 'When you are in it, it doesn't feel like it will.'
The actor then declared that he would 'turn this noise off for a while', before making a final plea for people to 'respect that we are all different'.
Laurence Fox's full Twitter thread
Laurence Fox rolled his eyes and looked to the ceiling as he denied treatment of Meghan Markle was racist, declaring 'Oh my God' when called a 'white privileged male'
I'm going to take an extended break from social media. I'd like to say a couple of things. First of all, a huge thank you to all of you who have followed me throughout my career and travelled vast distances to come and see me on stage, be in acting or singing...
'Since my appearance on question time and the ensuing hubbub, I have had nothing but support on the street, from people of all backgrounds and political view points. In the weird and lonely days that followed that appearance, your kind words have lifted my spirits. Thank you...
But privately I have been becoming more and more depressed. I have been so shocked by some of the things said to me on these platforms and I have found some of it very hard to process. I think it's important to stand up to bullies and that is why I have continued to do so...
But I find that I wake up in dread of what's to come. I'm a fairly private if opinionated person and it's been very painful and difficult to cope with. However I also believe in passionately in free speech. I stand wholeheartedly by people's right to express themselves...
But I am fearing for my future and my ability to provide financially for my children. A thought that keeps has kept me awake most nights. People tell me it will blow over, but when you are in it, it doesn't feel like it will...
I expressed an opinion, which I stand by and I don't believe is controversial. As a result Equity UK called (amongst other things) for actors to denounce me. This has been very hard to deal with, given that members weren't polled before these tweets were sent out...
I love my job. I am so blessed to have been fortunate enough to make a career out of it and I have met some of the best people and made such great friends whilst working as an actor. The thought of that being taken away saddens me more than I can say...
I think we need to learn to listen to each other better. I am learning this all the time. I believe that pushing people to the edge of their ability to remain emotionally ok through cancel culture can and does have deadly consequences...
I know that in order for me to be ok I have to turn this noise off for a while. We all have feelings. We all have hopes and dreams. We don't have to agree. We just have to respect that we are all different and we all deserve a chance to speak freely.
We all have privilege too. All of us. Whatever colour or creed. The richest and the poorest. Some see it. Some don't. Some have more than others. Billionaires have bad days and beggars have good ones. I've spent time with both and I know it to be true...
I wish you ALL all the best. I hope the loudest voices are the ones that come from love and truth. I hope that those who feel hate can be encouraged to find the love around them...
For me, I'm going to go back to reading more books. There is so much I will miss about Twatter, but on balance, I don't think I need it half as much as I enjoy it...
I'll probably be back on in ten minutes taking the p*** out of Lily Allen!
Thanks for reading. Loz x