A Scottish comedian has been dropped from a government Covid campaign after apologising for “unacceptable” historic tweets.
Janey Godley, who is famous for doing voiceovers of high profile figures like Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon, has been dropped from an advert encouraging people to take regular tests and wear face coverings after her old tweets resurfaced on social media, sparking debate.
A Scottish government spokesperson told the BBC trust in its public health messages was “paramount”.
They said: “A series of unacceptable tweets by Janey Godley have been brought to our attention and, while she has rightly apologised, trust in our public health messages at this time is paramount.
“We have therefore taken the decision to withdraw any further campaign material in which Ms Godley features.
“The material will be discontinued immediately on our own channels and withdrawn as soon as possible from external media.”
Godley has now locked her Twitter account.
Earlier in the week, the comedian had apologised after the tweets resurfaced on social media in light of her being featured in the coronavirus safety adverts. She also announced she would be donating her £12,000 fee for the adverts to charity.
She said: “There are tweets from my past social media that are horridly offensive, I believe in progress not perfection and I am far from perfect. People have every right to go through my social media and see what values I hold and to find hurtful phrases and statements is shocking, I am deeply sorry to everyone I offended.
“Comedy is no excuse to use disgusting and hurtful words that affect people and I know many of you expected better of me. I apologise for every single word that upset people, I should have blocked and reported the accounts that threatened me and not replied with abhorrent heckles.”
The comedian added: “There are fake tweets created to damage my reputation but the ones I wrote I take responsibility for.
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“During this pandemic, I tried to keep everyone’s spirits up and I will continue to do my best to keep that going.”
The tweets in question concern language Godley used to describe disabled people and victims of Chernobyl victims. However, in May, she also said she called the police after reportedly receiving death threats because of “fake tweets” mocked up to look like she was insulting Jewish people.
Speaking on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme on Friday, after Godley was dropped from the ads, Sturgeon said the tweets were “completely unacceptable, completely beyond the pale”.
“I would not in any way, shape or form seek to defend them,” she said.
“The most important thing is we don’t allow commentary and debate, legitimate and understandable debate around those to get in the way of our public health messages and that for me is the most important principle here.”
After the tweets came to light, some people had called for the comedian to be “cancelled” and said that her apology was not good enough:
Oh I see Janey Godley has been rumbled for “horribly offensive tweets”. Why am I completely unsurprised by this. De… https://t.co/TWgQGZM5v4