Actor Laurence Fox calls out 'racist, woke' people who 'need to feel oppressed'

Rebecca Lewis
Laurence Fox attends the Walpole British Luxury Awards 2019 at The Dorchester on November 18, 2019 (David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Walpole)

Actor Laurence Fox has labelled “woke” people “racist” as the controversy over his comments about Meghan Markle’s treatment in the press rumbles on.

“It’s not hopeful, what world do you want to live in?” he said of “wokeness” on Talk Radio on Monday 20 January, adding: “A world where everyone is racist or where we all try to come together?

“I think there is racism everywhere but I don’t think we are systemically racist – but then again I am a straight white male.”

The actor faced a backlash over his appearance on BBC1’s Question Time last week when he queried whether the Duchess of Sussex had faced discrimination in the British press.

One woman in the studio criticised Fox for his statements, saying: “What worries me about your comments is you are a white, privileged male who has no experience in this.”

Actors Billie Piper and Laurence Fox in 2014. The couple are now divorced. (Grant Pollard/Invision/AP)

Fox later revealed he had received death threats after his Question Time comments made headlines, sharing a grab of one from a man identified only as Chris L which read: “You know what would be hilarious? If someone walked up to Laurence Fox and unloaded a couple shotgun shots into his face. Ending his racist, miserable existence.

“I’d just laugh and laugh…”

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Speaking to Talk Radio, the actor said that he was not expecting people to “kick off” over his remarks on the BBC debate programme. He added that you “can’t be a wokeist without blaming everybody for being racist”.

He said: “I am at the bottom of the intersectional ladder, that’s for sure. But she was being racist. I didn’t raise colour at all. 

“She said ‘you’re a straight white male’ and technically that’s racist… so I was surprised it created such drama.”

However he added: “I think it created drama because the British are patient and we’re tired of being told we’re racist by the people we pay money for and support and generally applaud, and so it hurts a little extra when you’re called racist on top of it.”

Fox, son of actor James Fox and nephew of Edward Fox, said that he was fine with people “taking a pop” at him over his views, but added that he stops listening when the criticism spills over into vitriol.

He said: “We live in the most tolerant, progressive society, but then you go we have to have something we’re upset about, so they get upset about oppression.”

The actor, who was married to Billie Piper, also suggested that being “woke” is a middle-class thing because they “need to feel oppressed as well”.

Laurence Fox attending the 25th Birthday National Lottery Awards, the search for the UK's favourite National Lottery-funded projects.

On Sunday, former Lewis star Fox also hit out at black and working-class actors for complaining about the industry once they have “five million quid in the bank”.

He told The Delingpod podcast: “The most annoying thing is, the minute a black actor – it’s the same with working-class actors –  the minute they’ve got five million quid in the bank, every interview they do is about how racism is rampant and rife in the industry.

“And with working-class actors, ‘There’s not enough working-class actors’. You weren’t saying that when you didn’t have a f****** pot to piss in were you?

“You weren’t standing up for the working class actors until you’re now no longer materially working class.”