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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”.
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.
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?
What a repellent, dumb & grotesquely offensive attitude.
Shame on you. https://t.co/LBMT4pgaAF
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) February 12, 2021
"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 that the cartoon is clumsy - I’ll take the rollicking on the chin 🥊But this was never directed at people clinically ill who need our support. 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.
— Anthea Turner (@AntheaTurner1) February 12, 2021
“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.
"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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