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Amanda Abbington denies she’s ‘transphobic’ as Strictly fans threaten boycott over drag comments

“I’m sorry if you feel like you would boycott Strictly for a tweet I made about a drag show.”

By Charlotte Manning

Amanda Abbington
Amanda Abbington was the first contestant confirmed for Strictly this year (Image: BBC)

Sherlock actress Amanda Abbington has responded after some Strictly Come Dancing fans made calls to boycott the show after she was the first contestant confirmed.

The complaints are focused on a series of comments the Mr Selfridge star has made publicly, including about children dressing up in drag and other remarks interpreted as “transphobic.”

This has led some viewers of the show to question her involvement in the series, which has previously featured pro dancers in drag.

“I need to make this very clear, I love drag and I think it’s an amazing form of entertainment”

“A few thoughts on my Twitter Strictly boycott. Have a wonderful evening,” she captioned the video. 

The actress begun by explaining she left Twitter because she “doesn’t like it over there anymore.” She then addressed the reasons she was trending on the social media app. 

Abbington speculated this was “because of a tweet I made back back in March regarding a drag show.”

Amanda Abbington
Amanda posted the video on her Instagram account, which is now private (Image: Instagram/@Amanda_abbington74)

She went on: “I need to make this very clear: I love drag and I think it’s an amazing form of entertainment.

“I f**king love drag queens, I think they’re amazing and brilliant. It’s an art form. I think there’s a place for it in the entertainment industry.”

Her son, she said, even played Jamie in a production of Everyone’s Talking About Jamie. She commented that “he was a wonderful drag queen.”

“I’m sorry if you feel like you would boycott Strictly for a tweet I made about a drag show”

“But my tweet back in March was regarding a 12-year-old who was doing it in front of adults. It just upset me because I saw a kid, a little kid, a 12-year-old, doing something very over-sexualised. And I didn’t think it was right…” she explained.

Abbington went on to explain her tweet was not to do with the trans community and that she is “not transphobic.”

In the same clip, she added: “I’m sorry if you feel like you would boycott Strictly for a tweet I made about a drag show.”

She went on to add that she is “not a transphobic person”, and went on: “I am a firm supporter of the legitimate trans community. I always have been.”

Abbington has now made her Instagram account private.

In 2020, Abbington commented on Facebook that: “You cannot have a penis and want to be referred to as a woman.”

In the video, she also appeared to address this comment. She told viewers she previously made “a stupid comment a few years ago, I can’t even remember how long ago it was, but it was a while ago when I was ill-informed and it was a stupid thing to write and I instantly regretted it.”

She continued: “I apologised and I did my research, and I’m much more informed now.”

In another (now deleted) tweet from 2 March, Abbington criticised adults for dancing in drag in front of children.

She wrote at the time: “I lost quite a few followers for saying that a semi-naked man in thigh high boots dancing in a highly sexualised way shouldn’t be performing in front of babies. 

“It tells me everything I need to know about where society is heading. How do you not agree with me on this?”

So far, the Strictly class of 2023 includes Abbington, Angela Scanlon, Eddie Kadi, Krishnan Guru-Murphy, Layton Williams and Angela Rippon.