Actor Laurence Fox has won a small but satisfying victory in the war on Woke and Cancel Culture.
When he announced on Twitter this morning that he had some good news, I’d hoped he was going to tell us that he had been cast as the new James Bond. Handsome, naughty and properly posh — he was educated at Winston Churchill’s and Lord Byron’s alma mater, Harrow — Lozza would have been the most perfect antidote to the dreary, earnest, post #MeToo political correctness which has all but ruined the Bond franchise.
Sadly, Fox probably isn’t going to be the next Bond. But he has at least extracted an apology and an out of court settlement from the actors’ union Equity.
On 17 January a series of tweets were posted by the @EquityMEM Twitter account about Laurence Fox's appearance on BBC Question Time. We are sorry that in the tweets he was called a 'disgrace' by Equity. Please read Equity's full statement. https://t.co/NlW8f88iRs pic.twitter.com/5zgbG5623d
— Equity (@EquityUK) March 13, 2020
Better still, Equity’s apology – presumably prompted by a stiff legal letter reminding it that its job is to protect members of the acting profession, not campaign to kill their career prospects – has caused one of its sub-groups to resign in protest.
It is with deep regret that, following @EquityUK’s statement this morning, all members of Equity’s recently renamed Race Equality Committee (formerly the Equity Minority Ethnic Members Committee) feel we have no choice but to resign as committee members.
— Equity Race Equality Committee (@EquityREC) March 13, 2020
The regret, I’m sure, is not shared by the rest of the world.
Let’s just remind ourselves briefly of the background. Fox — a likeable, interesting and very talented actor, probably best known for playing DS Hathaway in Lewis — acquired instant public notoriety when he appeared on the BBC political panel show Question Time.
His remarks on the show were perfectly unexceptionable. He ventured, for example, that the Duchess of Sussex — aka Princess Meghan — was not a victim of racism. As the Daily Mail reminds us, he said:
‘It’s not racism … we’re the most tolerant, lovely country in Europe. It’s so easy to throw the charge of racism and it’s really starting to get boring now.’
The audience member then described Fox as a “white, privileged male”, to which he responded: ‘To call me a white, privileged male is to be racist.’
But the Social Justice Warriors wanted blood. Actors are expected to be fully on board with the identity politics/cultural Marxist agenda: any deviation therefrom must be punished. So a campaign was launched by the usual suspects to get Fox for the crime of having original political opinions.
What didn’t help was that in the course of an interview on my podcast the Delingpod, Fox had expressed some measured, cautious reservations about the incongruous ‘diversity’ casting in Sam Mendes’s World War One movie 1917.
Fox said and did nothing wrong, as I explained at the time, in detail, in my piece Laurence Fox Vs the Diversity Gestapo.
Nevertheless, his remarks were seized on by left-wing activists as a sign that Fox was a borderline racist. Among those that jumped on the bandwagon was the actors’ union Equity which branded Fox a ‘disgrace to our industry’.
Fox responded unapologetically and robustly:
This is the position I took last night and I live by in life. If you can improve on it, I’m all ears.
Or you can keep screeching “Racist!” at me and I can carry on having a jolly good giggle at your expense.
The tide is turning. pic.twitter.com/fFJzkzvFsY
— Laurence Fox (@LozzaFox) January 17, 2020
Many actors in Fox’s position would have done the usual thing in the face of Equity’s bullying — and backed down. After all, acting is Fox’s livelihood and when your own industry gangs up and conspires to try to make you into an unemployable non-person what option do you have other than to eat crow?
Well, fantastic Mr Fox has shown us that there is another way. Equity has been exposed as illiberal and libellous. The minority of race-baiters from within the Union — Equity’s self-styled Race Equality Committee — have had their wings clipped.
If only more of us were prepared to take a brave, principled stand against the forces of woke, as Fox has done, the world would be a much more agreeable place.
Here is one of the instigators of Equity’s attack on Fox.
I've resigned as @EquityREC Chair over this. @Equity and La*rence F*x can issue as many joint statements and apologies as they like. It's nothing to do with me and I apologise for nothing #NotInMyName https://t.co/q9aempoTTU
— Daniel York Loh 😷 (@danielfyork) March 13, 2020
Which actor would you like to see more of on stage and screen: Laurence Fox or Daniel “Who He?” York Loh?
If your answer, as I suspect, is Laurence Fox, then here is the question we should all be asking: how in God’s name did nonentities like Daniel York Loh ever manage to acquire such power that they were able to cancel — or attempt to cancel — the careers of genuine talents like Fox?
And isn’t about time we put a stop to this weird and appalling glitch in modern Western culture?