Celebrities the world over have turned out to support the Black Lives Matter movement in the last two weeks.
While this is exactly what they should be doing, the manner in which some of them have gone about it is jarring.
Especially when people with a history of racial ignorance or insensitivity decide to pipe up. Like David Walliams, co-creator of sketch show Little Britain.
Walliams has recently been sharing tweets by the likes of John Boyega, Barack Obama and J.K Rowling speaking up about the movement and condemning racism.
Yesterday he finally decided to add his own thoughts to the mix. These amount to posting a picture of Obama on Twitter, with the accompanying caption reading:
Please come back @BarackObama The world needs you.
Walliams’ message seemed to suggest that if Obama was president again, the current race protests wouldn’t be happening on this scale.
People certainly interpreted the tweet as implying that Obama’s presence would mean the world was in a better place right now, particularly regarding racial tension.
Walliams was quickly challenged on Obama’s personal leadership record.
And reminded that “racist police murders” still happened during his tenure.
In fact, the Black Lives Matter movement was founded four years into Obama’s first term.
Some people saw his tweet as sanctimonious and implying that the mere presence of a black man in the White House would solve racism.
Which is not how it works...
People began to question Walliams’ own record when it came to race.
Like his portrayal of black and asian characters on Little Britain.
And his use of blackface, stereotypes and offensive accents in doing so.
There was recollection of other insensitive choices Walliams had made as well.
The list, it turned out, was pretty long.
Don’t forget fatphobic – remember Majorie Dawes? And Bubbles?
Walliams did not respond to the criticism.
Interestingly Walliams still regularly posts clips from Little Britain and follow-up Come Fly With Me – but none seem to be ones featuring scenes of him and Matt Lucas playing any of their most egregious characters.
With fellow comedian Keith Lemon apologising for his use of blackface, perhaps Walliams should follow suit?