Strictly's Amanda Abbington fumes 'I'm not transphobic' as show faces boycott over resurfaced 'drag' tweets

Amanda Abbington addresses Strictly 'boycott'

Amanda Abbington addresses Strictly 'boycott' in an Instagram post

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 07/08/2023

- 09:20

Updated: 01/09/2023

- 16:10

Amanda Abbington was unveiled as one of this year's Strictly Come Dancing cast members last week

Sherlock and Mr Selfridge star Amanda Abbington has released a lengthy statement after old tweets of hers reemerged following her casting in Strictly Come Dancing.

In one of her tweets, Abbington criticised a clip of a young child performing in drag in front of adults which prompted some to accuse her of transphobia.

She also took issue with a tweet which included a drag queen performing in front of young children.

Abbington hit back at the time on her a now-deleted account: "I never mentioned the trans community! How on earth is my post transphobic.

"I'm saying you do not perform that kind of act in front of BABIES. It's abhorrent," she added.

She also said in another separate tweet [via the Daily Mail]: "If you don't actually have proper, real breast milk in your breasts, just don't try and breastfeed your baby."

Following her arrival to the class of Strictly 2023, calls to "boycott" the show altogether have emerged and even led to Abbington trending on Twitter over the weekend.

Amanda Abbington

Amanda Abbington has been unveiled as part of this year's Strictly cast


Addressing the backlash, Abbington said in an Instagram video: "Apparently I'm trending on Twitter. I'm not on Twitter anymore. I left voluntarily because I don't like it over there anymore.

"I'm trending because people are going to boycott Strictly and I think it's because of a tweet I made back in March regarding a drag show."

Attempting to clarify her stance, Abbington said: "Now, I need to make this very clear. I love drag. I think it's an amazing form of entertainment and I f*****g love drag queens. I think they're hilarious and brilliant, and it's an art form. And I think there's absolutely a place for it in the entertainment industry...

"But my tweet back in March was regarding a 12-year-old who was doing it in front of adults and it just upset me because I saw a kid, a little kid, a 12-year-old doing something very over-sexualised and I didn't think it was right.

"Personally speaking, I don't think 12-year-olds should be performing in drag shows in overtly sexual ways because they're 12 and they need a childhood. It's nice for kids to have a childhood and grow up, and find that out when they're old enough to really understand it.

"That was my tweet," Abbington hit out. "I didn't associate it with the trans community, nor would I associate that with the trans community because I think they're two separate things.

"I'm not transphobic, I'm not a transphobic person, I'm a firm supporter of the legitimate trans community, I always have been."

However, Abbington did mention: "I think they have been infiltrated by some people who want to cause damage and want to cause trouble, and pit people off of each other and cause as much harm as possible.

"But I would support any trans person who is feeling persecuted or not listened to, or not seen, of course I would. I'm not a nasty person."

Abbington's defence went on further as she claimed to support the trans community as well as women's rights and "the importance of women within society".

She continued: "And I think those two are being really pitted against each other.

"What we need to do now more than ever is to make sure people are really looking after each other. It's f*****g toxic out there, it's horrible. It's a horrible place if you let it be and I don't want everybody to be at each other's throats. I never wanted that.

Amanda Abbington insisted she isn't 'transphobic'

Amanda Abbington insisted she isn't 'transphobic'


"I do believe that we need to look after kids and we need to look after women, and we need to look after legitimate trans people who are finding it really f*****g difficult at the moment, and I've wanted that for years."

However, Abbington did admit she "did a stupid comment a few years ago" when she was "ill-informed" which she "instantly regretted".

She concluded: "I've said stupid things, of course I have, and I instantly regretted them. Everybody is learning. We need to take a breath and take a beat.

"So I'm sorry if you feel like you need to boycott Strictly for a tweet I made about a drag show but I don't think 12-year-olds should be doing overly-sexualised drag acts. That's my personal opinion and I'm not pushing it on anyone else.

"It upsets me when I see kids feeling like they have to do that.

"But I didn't associate it with the trans community nor would I. I'm an ally of the LGBT community and I'm an ally of women's rights and I'm an ally of kids being kids, and I'm an ally of live and let live."

Abbington is set to hit the dance floor on Strictly this year alongside a whole host of famous faces.

As of Monday morning, the cast of Strictly 2023 includes Abbington, Angela Scanlon, Eddie Kadi, Krishnan Guru-Murphy, Layton Williams and Angela Rippon.

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