‘Really made me cry’ Loose Women’s Charlene White on abuse for not wearing poppy on ITV06/03/2021
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Loose Women host Charlene White, 40, has addressed the wave of online abuse she has received in recent years. It comes after the ITV News correspondent made the decision to not wear a poppy due to impartiality rules.
Each year, millions of people wear a red poppy for remembrance as a mark of respect to all those who lost their lives fighting on behalf of their country, and to raise money for those whose lives have been affected by war.
Charlene previously explained that she is a supporter of the Poppy Appeal and a number of other charities, but due to “impartiality rules” she cannot visually support them all while presenting.
The Loose Women panellist has opened up about her experience of abuse on social media following the furore over not wearing a poppy.
“I don’t know why I’m laughing because I do get some horrific abuse,” Charlene explained.
“But it’s the weird dynamic that because it happens so often, I’m very used to it – which I shouldn’t have to be.”
She added: “I’m a black woman in the public eye, so for a lot of people I’m fair game.”
The TV presenter claimed that a member of the English Defence League (EDL) had urged members of the public to direct abuse at her, after seeing Charlene without a poppy.
“It all came to a head when a member of the EDL said, ‘I’ve heard there’s a black girl on ITV that doesn’t wear a poppy,’ and told his followers to abuse me in any way they could find me,” the Loose Women host explained to OK! Magazine in a recent interview.
“That’s exactly what they did. We’re talking thousands and thousands of comments, petitions to ITV, a ‘Sack The S**g’ campaign.”
Charlene revealed that she became emotional following the wave of online abuse.
Addressing how she deals with online trolls now, she remarked: “As long as it doesn’t get as bad as that, it’s manageable.
“But that upset me a lot. It takes a lot to make me cry, but it got to a point where it was really overwhelming and really did make me cry.
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“It’s never been to that particular level since.”
Charlene has previously opened up about not wearing a poppy in an article for ITV News in 2014, explaining her position.
She penned: “It is a subject that provokes a lot of debate and anger – but it is one that I feel strongly about.
“I support and am a patron of a number of charities, and due to impartiality rules, I am not allowed to visually support them all whilst presenting news programmes.
“That includes things like a red ribbon for World Aids Day, or a purple band for Bowel Cancer Awareness Month.”
She explained that she felt “uncomfortable” supporting one charity on-screen above all others.
Charlene added that in her private life she wears a poppy on Armistice Day and “proudly” keeps a ceramic poppy from the Tower of London on her mantelpiece.
She also revealed that every year she donates to the British Legion.
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