Kelechi Okafor axes Woman's Hour interview after accusing host of 'vile' words

Actress Kelechi Okafor pulled out of an appearance on Woman’s Hour moments before she was due to go on-air after accusing host Emma Barnett of making “degrading” comments about her.

The podcaster and TV star was invited to chat on the BBC Radio 4 show to speak about the #MeToo movement with host Emma.

She claims on social media that moments before the interview, she overheard a conversation in which she could hear herself “being talked about like a d***head.”

The British actress revealed her decision to pull out to her Twitter followers, explaining: “Hi guys I’m coming off woman’s hour because what I’ve just had to witness is absolutely degrading and vile.”

Actress, Kelechi Okafor, pulled out of an appearance on Woman’s Hour on Wednesday

In a second tweet, she added: “The host didn’t realise her mic was on as she was talking about me before the interview started is all I’m going to say.”

Kelechi continued: “You can have a genuine concern about something you’ve been told about me and address it in a manner that is kind. That wasn’t what took place. Myself and the other people who would be talking during the segment could hear me being talked about like a d***head.

“When she clocks the mic is on suddenly it’s ‘well kelechi could you just explain to me because I’m trying to give you a chance to explain…’ It was on your producers to have explained and done their research. It was on you to check your mic.”

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Kelechi also posed a video to Instagram, in which she said: “I won’t be going on Woman’s Hour now. The host didn’t realise her mic was on as she was talking s**t about me to the producers.”

She has accused host Emma Barnett of making “degrading” comments about her

Emma Barnett started her new role as Woman’s Hour host on Monday.

She replaced Jane Garvey, who had been in the seat for some 13 years.

The alleged conversation appears to have taken place off-air.

In 2017 Kelechi defended comments made by then presenter Reggie Yates about Jewish people, which were accused of being anti-semitic.

Back in November 2017, Reggie apologised after he used the phrase “fat Jewish guy” in reference to managers in the music industry, during the Halfcast Podcast with DJ Chuckie Lothian.

While praising artists who remain independent, he said: “The thing that makes it great about this new generation of (music) artists is that they ain’t signing to majors.

Kelechi claims she overheard a conversation she was not meant to in which she “could hear me being talked about like a d***head.”

“They’re independent, they’re not managed by some random fat Jewish guy from north west London, they’re managed by their brethren.”

Following the remarks he publicly apologised in a statement, saying: “I’m hugely apologetic for this flippant comment.”

He added: “It was not my intention to offend or reinforce stereotypes, but I’m aware that this could have been interpreted that way and for that I am also deeply sorry.

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“What I was actually trying to say was how proud I am of the new generation of artists making their success independently on their own terms and without giving away control or their rights to major labels.”

The podcaster and TV star was invited to chat on the BBC Radio 4 show to speak about the #MeToo movement

After Reggie’s apology, Kelechi spoke on her Say Your Mind podcast – in an episode that has since been taken off Soundcloud – and addressed what he said.

The actress explained that she “had a huge problem with people apologising for things that they meant” and dubbed Reggie’s apology statement as “well-manicured”.

Kelechi remarked at the time that Yates’ comments were “not problematic” and added that he was speaking “the truth”.

During the episode, she said that black people in the arts have been “so short-changed by the kind of people Reggie Yates describes”.

The Mirror has contacted Kelechi and the BBC for comment.


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