Words: Emily Maskell; pictures: ITV
The actor Laurence Fox was temporarily banned from Twitter after he posted an image of four Progress Pride flags arranged to resemble a swastika symbol as his profile picture.
The 44-year-old Reclaim Party leader captioned his image on Sunday (26 June): "Oh blessed and most holy month" in reference to Pride Month.
In a screenshot posted to his Twitter on Monday (27 June) Laurence was told by the platform that he had violated its rules on abusive profile information and hateful imagery.
You can openly call the 🇬🇧 a symbol of facism and totalitarianism on Twatter. You cannot criticise the holy flags 🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️. pic.twitter.com/goKvFHV7x2— Laurence Fox (@LozzaFox) June 27, 2022
The remedy, he was told, was to delete the image after which his account would be unlocked.
Alongside the above image Fox tweeted: "You can openly call the 🇬🇧 a symbol of facism and totalitarianism on Twatter. You cannot criticise the holy flags 🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️."
A Twitter spokesperson added: "We took enforcement action on the account referenced for violating our rules on Abusive Profile Information and Hateful Conduct. The account owner was required to remove the violative profile image before regaining access to their account."
In a statement provided to The Metro Fox said his temporary ban "only served to reinforce the rank hypocrisy which Twitter is engaged in," pointing to Tweets supposedly deleted for comparing the prominence of Union Jack flags around the country during the Jubilee weekend to Nazi Germany.
"The prominence of the various pride flags and symbols throughout the month of June however not only goes unquestioned," the actor moaned.
He then said: "My post was clearly meant to highlight this double standard – and the temporary ban which resulted from it effectively proved my point."
Many shared their disgust and condemned Fox’s posts. Among them, Professor Tanja Bueltmann, founder of the EU Citizens' Champion campaign, tweeted Fox’s actions are "utterly deplorable."
I won’t share Laurence Fox’s profile pic where he manipulated the Pride flag in such a way that a swastika can be seen. Under that symbol, my country of birth once murdered millions of people because of who they are. To appropriate that to fuel transphobia is utterly deplorable.— Prof Tanja Bueltmann (@TanjaBueltmann) June 27, 2022
She continued that the appropriation of the swastika is an outcome of normalising transphobia, labelling it a "sick and twisted spin on trans rights that invokes fascism. It is deranged and dangerous. For Fox to choose to do this after Oslo is truly disgusting."
The Chase’s Paul Sinha also tweeted his disgust for Fox’s actions being on the same weekend as the attack on an LGBTQ+ venue in Norway on the weekend of Oslo Pride.
"On the weekend of the Oslo attack, Laurence Fox's flag stunt on his bio feels like an epiphany for me. I haven't got time in my life to be friends with anyone who enables this sh*t. You know who you are," Sinha wrote.
On the weekend of the Oslo attack, Laurence Fox's flag stunt on his bio feels like an epiphany for me. I haven't got time in my life to be friends with anyone who enables this shit. You know who you are.— Paul Sinha (@paulsinha) June 26, 2022
The Twitter account for charity Campaign Against Antisemitism also posted condemning Fox, writing: "Displaying pride flags in the shape of a swastika is not the edgy statement that you think it is."
Displaying pride flags in the shape of a swastika is not the edgy statement that you think it is.— Campaign Against Antisemitism (@antisemitism) June 26, 2022
It is possible to express a view without the hate, and without insulting those murdered by the Nazis, which included Jews and LGBT people. https://t.co/YiFaUwJkzG
"It is possible to express a view without the hate, and without insulting those murdered by the Nazis, which included Jews and LGBT people," their statement continues.
Fox has repeatedly found himself in controversy, just last month he was ordered to pay £36,000 to three people, including Drag Race UK's Crystal, after he called them "paedohiles".
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