BBC journalist Ben Hunte targeted by ‘racist and homophobic abuse’ after Laurence Fox tweet

Ben Hunte’s Twitter header was shared by Fox (Picture: Instagram)

BBC journalist Ben Hunte received ‘racist and homophobic abuse’ after Laurence Fox shared a screenshot of him on his Twitter account.

Fox appeared to send the tweet on November 23, writing: ‘So glad I’m not paying for this anymore. @bbc @DefundBBC #DefundTheBBC.’

The Lewis actor, who has been vocal in his criticism of the BBC, attached a screenshot of Hunte’s Twitter bio, which features a banner picture of him on the news channel, and the description: @BBCNews LGBT correspondent Making #gay and #LGBT stuff for the BBC.’

The tweet has now been deleted.

Hunte shared a grab of the offending tweet today and wrote: ‘My family and I have been sent racist and homophobic abuse following the below screenshot of me being posted. I am fine – but I will let the police take over.

‘If you disagree with my job, or with the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines, or with wider LGBT-related decisions I am not involved in, please do not contact my family with hate. Please use the BBC’s complaints process. 

‘I am doing my job to the best of my abilities. I am proud of being a journalist and so grateful to those who share their experiences with me. Thank you.’

Colleagues and followers inundated the 29-year-old with support, with Dr Ranj Singh tweeting: ‘This is vile. I’m so sorry you & your family have been subject to this. Sending love.’

RuPaul’s Drag Race star Baga Chipz wrote: ‘He’s just an insecure little p*** worm. Sending you much love!’, while LGBT rights organisation Stonewall highlighted the post, tweeting: ‘Our rage and solidarity to @BenInLDN today. This kind of racist and homophobic abuse is all too often the unacceptable reality of being an LGBT person of colour, both in public and private spheres.’

Others told Hunte that his journalism at the BBC was appreciated, with some tweets calling for Fox to be penalised by Twitter for starting the pile-on.

It is unclear by what means the abuse to Hunte and his family was sent. 

Hunte was appointed as the BBC’s first LGBT correspondent in April 2019, and has spoken out on numerous occasions about the abuse he gets because of his sexuality and race.

Fox has called for the BBC to be defunded (Picture: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Walpole)

Last year, he shared at a Student Pride event: ‘So I wanted to see what my first piece would be like as an LGBT correspondent so I put it out this week. It was about LGBT history. And it looked at the fact we don’t actually appreciate the heroes that came before us and represented us.

‘In all honesty I have never received so much abuse in my life. Even as being an LGBT YouTuber. The difficulty with that was I knew it was going to be bad, but I didn’t know it was going to be that bad.

‘What surprised me most was the lengths people would go to to find me. I had one email that said “since when did the BBC allow negroes to present the news?”

‘And I had internal conversations with the BBC because that story was just a fun and friendly piece about LGBT history. When I’m digging deeper and I’m putting vulnerable people on the news, what are those comment sections going to look like?

Fox, 42, has become more known for his views on race and politics than his acting in recent months, and believes that the BBC should be defunded.

In June, he tweeted: ‘The @bbc is a corrupt organisation that sows division between friends. If they want to compete for our appreciation, they should do so within the free market.’

His ire was sparked by a Countryfile segment which noted how ‘many in Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups see the countryside as being a white environment’. 

Hunte declined further comment when contacted. Metro.co.uk has contacted Fox for comment. 

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