Harry Potter actress accused of "humiliating" a fan with a "racist joke"

Stephanie Soteriou

Harry Potter actress Miriam Margolyes has been accused of “humiliating” a fan after making a racist joke at an autograph signing.

The 75-year-old star played Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter franchise and was charging £5 for signed photographs of herself at the London Film Convention, when she offered a man a discount because he is black.

In video footage obtained by The Sun, Margoyles can be seen asking a man taking a photo of her kiosk: “Can’t you afford five quid?” before saying to him: “I’m giving you a discount because you’re black.”

The Jewish star continued: “Jews and blacks, they get a discount.”

The woman who filmed the altercation told the publication: “I think she was being racist yeah. I showed the video to my family and they all agreed it was too.

“There were lots of us stood around taking photos but he was the only man who was black.

“There were lots of us stood around taking photos but he was the only man who was black. She singled him out absolutely. The man was taking photos like lots of us were, I was filming.

“She was being a loose canon and a big character shouting all sorts of stuff out. Then she made that quip about Jews and blacks and everyone was just staring at the ground and looking embarrassed.

“I recognised the man she targeted from other events and he looked humiliated.

“To me I just people, I don’t see black and white, I just see people. I think she’s detached from modern times I really do.”

The woman went on to add that the man ended up going up to Margoyles and buying a £5 photograph, which he may not have wanted to do beforehand.

Responding to the video, a spokesperson for the star said: “Miriam’s comments were made in jest and she would be mortified if anyone took offence.”

 

However, this is not the first time that the actress has been accused of racism, with Margoyles previously hitting the headlines in 2012 when she told Will.i.am: “I’m just fascinated by you.

“Unfortunately I don’t know many black people.”


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