A BBC journalist has been subjected to a spate of homophobic and racist abuse after Laurence Fox sparked a social media pile-on.
Fox – the actor turned culture warrior – shared a screenshot of the reporter’s Twitter profile, adding: “So glad I’m not paying for this anymore.” He has since deleted the tweet.
Ben Hunte – the BBC’s LGBT correspondent – said on Thursday: “My family and I have been sent racist and homophobic abuse following the below screenshot of me being posted. I am fine – but I will let the police take over.”
“If you disagree with my job, or with the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines, or with wider LGBT-related decision I am not involved in, please do not contact my family with hate. Please use the BBC’s complaints process,” he added.
“I am doing my job to the best of my abilities. I am proud of being a journalist and so grateful to those who share their experiences with me.”
The BBC, in a tweet, added: “We won’t tolerate abuse and threats aimed at our journalists.
“They all stick to the BBC’s editorial standards – meaning they need to include a wide variety of viewpoints and voices in their reporting. This should never lead to personal abuse.”
Fox addressed the controversy on Thursday evening, saying: “Saddened to hear you have had abuse. It’s horrible and I know exactly how you feel. My view is that the BBC is increasingly identitarian and divisive and should be defunded. I believe in people, not acronyms.”
“Loz,” he signed off the tweet.
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: “We are aware of a tweet posted earlier today relating to an allegation of abuse on social media.
“We have received an initial report and officers will be contacting the complainant to take further details.”