Entertainment

Victoria Coren Mitchell clashes with GB News panelist over ‘racist’ jokes about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Victoria Coren Mitchell and comedian Leo Kearse have fallen out on social media over comments he made on GB News about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

After six years, jailed charity worker Zaghari-Ratcliffe was finally returned to the UK from Iran earlier this month after the government agreed to settle a £393.8million debt linked to a decades-old arms deal.

After a press conference Zaghari-Ratcliffe gave after her release, internet trolls accused her of being “ungrateful” to the UK government for paying off the debt.

On UK News The headliners Show, comedians Diane Spencer and Leo Kearse suggested that Zaghari-Ratcliffe acted “ungrateful” after returning home to her husband and seven-year-old daughter. Zaghari-Radcliffe missed most of her daughter’s childhood due to her imprisonment.

Just connect Host Coren Mitchell shared a trailer promoting the show on Wednesday (March 23), writing: “My word. I’m not one to criticize other people’s attempts at TV — I write a column saying something is great pretty much every week.

“But if this stumbling, cackling, racial incompetence is what GB News is putting out as a TRAILER… how on earth is the rest like this?!”

In the clip, Spencer can be heard: “We don’t know what was whispered [Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s] For the last six years she may have sat there alone, or someone came by every day.”

Kearse then suggested Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been “radicalized” and said her name was “Iranian for ungrateful”.

Following Coren Mitchell’s tweet, Kearse wrote: “According to @VictoriaCoren, my comments about Nazanin Zaghari-Markle are ‘racist.’ Could someone explain?

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“Even putting myself in the mindset of an over-the-top, self-hating white rescuer security guard, I can’t reach out to find the racism.”

Coren Mitchell then hit back with, “Zaghari-Markle? I don’t know if the irony is greater if you meant it that way on purpose or typed it by mistake!

“Look, I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings. I’m very pro-comedy and respect your freedom to say whatever you want. I just thought the program looked crap.”

In additional tweets on Thursday (March 24), Coren Mitchell explained exactly why she perceived the clip as racist language.

She then addressed claims that she was a hypocrite for calling out Kearse.

“There’s literally nothing I can say or do here that would stop people from saying I’m a hypocrite, I’m a fascist, I want to ban you, I wouldn’t say the same thing [x] or [y] — these are just Twitter tropes infecting the medium like bacteria,” she said.

“I’ve publicly defended Jeremy Clarkson’s joke about shooting strikers, I’ve written in support of Jim Davidson, I’ve surrounded this whole thing with a constant celebration of your freedom – they accuse me of hypocritical leftist tribalism anyway. Still, I don’t suffer from it…”

Coren Mitchell was criticized last month for speaking out for Jimmy Carr when a joke he made about the Traveler community and the Holocaust sparked outrage.

The Independent has reached out to GB News, Victoria Coren Mitchell and Leo Kearse for comment.

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/victoria-coren-mitchell-gb-news-nazanin-zaghari-ratcliffe-b2043173.html Victoria Coren Mitchell clashes with GB News panelist over ‘racist’ jokes about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

JOE HERNANDEZ

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