Anthea Turner apologises after being accused of 'fat-shaming' with meme

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  • Anthea Turner
    English television presenter and media personality
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 20:  Anthea Turner attends the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019 press day on May 20, 2019 in London, England.  (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Anthea Turner in 2019 (David M Benett/Getty Images)

Anthea Turner has apologised after sparking a row by sharing a meme of an obese McDonald's customer in a wheelchair.

The TV presenter was accused of body-shaming after she posted the image of the mask-wearing lady – who was berating a slim woman for not wearing a face covering - on social media alongside the words “Go for it”.

Turner, 60, had followed up the cartoon with a series of messages suggesting people needed to take responsibility for their heath by making better choices and criticising the fact that gyms were closed during the coronavirus lockdown while fast food places were open.

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However, her comments triggered a backlash, with people on Twitter accusing her of “fat-shaming”.

Screengrab of cartoon shared by Anthea Turner
Screengrab of cartoon shared by Anthea Turner

The cartoon, said one person on Twitter, “demonstrates utter disdain and ignorance towards disabled people and perpetuates idea of moral highground of health and able-bodied over disability”.

"Staggered by the disabled & fat shaming," tweeted another.

Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan was among those to weigh in.

What the hell is this? Have you lost your mind, Anthea? Just despicable,” he tweeted.

Anthea Turner, pictured in September 2019, turned 60 in lockdown. (Getty Images)
Anthea Turner (Getty Images)

Morgan later shared another post in which Turner said: “Sadly those of us who have genuinely tried to protect the NHS by looking after our bodies are paying the terrible price for those who have chosen lazy lifestyle choices.”

"You're blaming 120,000+ covid deaths on the victims being lazy?" he responded. "What a repellent, dumb & grotesquely offensive attitude. Shame on you."

Turner later said sorry for the cartoon, which has since been deleted, but set the record straight about her intentions.

“Totally apologies (sic) that the cartoon is clumsy - I’ll take the rollicking on the chin," she said on Twitter.

"But this was never directed at people clinically ill who need our support.

Read more: Anthea Turner admits missing Botox in lockdown as she's feeling old

"My passion is sincere though Covid has to give us a bloody big health wakeup call & we’d be nuts not to try & fix it."

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