Martin Lewis has apologised to his fans after he unintentionally offended them with a conversation starter he posted on Twitter.
The Money Saving Expert star regularly posts polls for his followers on the social networking site to get them talking about various topics and on Tuesday he decided to address racism as a topic of discussion.
Lewis, 50, questioned how his fans would react if someone providing them a "one-off service" said something "casually racist" – with the query sparking a backlash from viewers of the tweet.
He wrote: "Today's Twitter Poll: If you were chatting to someone providing you a one-off service (eg hairdresser, cabbie, uber driver, plumber etc) and they said something casually racist – in practice would you call them out on it, or just ignore it?"
The Good Morning Britain star then offered a range of answers for users to select including "I'd call them out", "I'd ignore it" and "I'd probably agree".
Lewis's followers immediately began to respond to the post as they pointed out to him that he shouldn't use the term "casually racist" as they highlighted the negative connotations behind the phrase.
One explained: "I know it isn't your intent, so I need to say there's nothing casual about racism.
"Some define racism as just the visually violent. The throwaway remarks and insidious acts are seen as not serious, something to be brushed aside. The effect is far from benign, please don't dismiss."
Just an apology. I used the term "casually racist" here, which I hadn't realised was a loaded term. I was aiming to describe an off-hand comment, to build a picture of the situation, not in an way to diminish the fact that it is racism.
Some people have sent me interesting posts…
— Martin Lewis (@MartinSLewis) March 30, 2023
Lewis then immediately offered an apology for not realising that he had used an offensive term in his post and thanked his fans for helping to make him more aware.
He wrote: "Just an apology. I used the term 'casually racist' here, which I hadn't realised was a loaded term. I was aiming to describe an off-hand comment, to build a picture of the situation, not in an way to diminish the fact that it is racism.
"Some people have sent me interesting posts on it, which I've read, thank you. It isn't a term I'd use again."
Lewis then explained his own experience of the topic of his poll which saw almost 80,000 people cast their vote and was viewed 1.4 million times.
He said: "I've both called it out politely eg 'I don't agree, and you should be careful that could be viewed as racist'. But also not, when the person felt aggressive and I just disengaged.
"I once had a US barber lecture me on 'the jewish threat' assuming that a Brit I mustn't be jewish."
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