An actress sparked fury today for likening the apparent death of Sarah Everard to Piers Morgan‘s criticism of Megan Markle – saying they are both ‘part of normalised entitlement that men are encouraged to feel towards women’.
Kelechi Okafor claimed ‘socially encouraged misogyny’ had led to the death of the 33-year-old woman who went missing while walking in South London on March 3. Police have yet to confirm that she has died, but human remains have been found.
She added that those outraged by this could not also ’empathise’ with the ex-Good Morning Britain presenter after his ‘incessant rants’ about the Duchess of Sussex which saw him step down from the ITV programme on Tuesday after six years.
Miss Okafor, who has 98,500 Twitter followers, said: ‘You cannot claim to be outraged by the socially encouraged misogyny which led to Sarah Everard’s death and still empathise with Piers Morgan after his incessant rants about Meghan Markle.’
The mother-of-one added: ‘They’re both part of normalised entitlement that men are encouraged to feel towards women.’ Miss Okafor has appeared in TV adverts for Maltesers, Samsung and Irn Bru – and also runs a pole dance studio in Brixton.
She hit the headlines two months ago for storming off a BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour programme just two minutes before airtime after claiming she overheard host Emma Barnett discussing if she had made anti-Semitic remarks.
Actress Kelechi Okafor has attracted criticism for her comments on the death of Sarah Everard
Miss Okafor claimed ‘socially encouraged misogyny’ had led to the death of Miss Everard
Today, Miss Okafor’s tweet prompted furious responses, with one social media user telling her: ‘That’s a bit of a sweeping generalisation of men, don’t you think?’
Another said: ‘Oh don’t mind me, just using a horrific crime to excuse a pampered princess’s whinge fest on TV.’
And a third tweeted: ‘The fact that you are trying to link this to a battle of sexes is simply disgusting BS. Meghan isn’t dead and her seeking help shows strength.
‘Seeking public attention however is very different – as is revenge. Their move was not by accident and I too don’t buy it at all.’
A fourth Twitter user said: ‘Why can’t people have opinions on everything, why does it have to be exactly what cancel culture or BLM dictates? It’s like its own little dictatorship.’
And a fifth added: ‘Can you not lump all men together! That’s the problem! Men are chucked under the bus and we are sick of being thrown to the wolves because of pervs and psychos.
‘My daughter needs to know her dad and brother are good people. She is safe and loved.’
But others defended Miss Okafor, with one tweeting: ‘The tw**s questioning this statement are some sick individuals. It is obvious – if women were able to defend themselves against these men’s entitlement this wouldn’t be a problem.’
Another said: ‘Hit the nail on the head’ – and a third added: ‘The link between the two seems obvious to me. There is a desire in both cases to undermine the victims. Mostly from men but propped up by many who don’t see the misogyny.’
Miss Okafar also made a series of further comments about Miss Everard’s death, saying: ‘People are not automatically ‘good’ because they have police uniform.
‘In fact, studies have shown that it’s quite the opposite. When will Cressida Dick admit that there is not only a racism issue to reckon with but also that the safety of all women is at risk?
‘Cressida and her severe close crop hairdo was very happy to say that the Met Police is no longer institutionally racist.
‘After this statement it was revealed that officers took pictures of themselves next to two dead black women’s bodies and posted to a group chat for banter.’
It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was ‘shocked and deeply saddened’ after human remains were discovered in the search for Miss Everard.
Serving Metropolitan Police officer PC Wayne Couzens, 48, is being questioned on suspicion of her kidnap and murder.
Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said last night that remains had been found in an area of woodland in Ashford in Kent by detectives investigating the disappearance.
The officer, who is in the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command, was held on Tuesday night on suspicion of kidnap.
Sarah Everard, 33, went missing after leaving a friend’s house in South London on March 3
Piers Morgan is pictured in London yesterday after stepping down from Good Morning Britain
He was then further arrested on suspicion of murder and a separate allegation of indecent exposure the following day.
Meanwhile Mr Morgan yesterday labelled Meghan’s comments in her interview with Oprah Winfrey as ‘contemptible’, following his abrupt departure from GMB.
The presenter left the ITV morning show following a backlash against his comments about Meghan and her headline-making interview, but said it was an ‘amicable’ departure and that he and the broadcaster ‘agreed to disagree’.
The broadcaster’s chief executive, Dame Carolyn McCall, said on Tuesday that Kevin Lygo, their managing director of media and entertainment, had been in discussion with Morgan regarding his coverage of the Harry and Meghan interview, adding that she believed what the duchess had said to Winfrey, saying: ‘It’s important everyone does’.
When Kelechi Okafor stormed off Woman’s Hour just two minutes before airtime after allegedly hearing Emma Barnett discussing if she had made anti-Semitic remarks
Kelechi Okafor was set to speak to Emma Barnett (above) on BBC Radio 4 in January
Kelechi Okafor stormed off Woman’s Hour in January just two minutes before airtime after claiming she overheard host Emma Barnett discussing if she had made anti-Semitic remarks.
Kelechi Okafor was set to talk about the MeToo movement on the BBC Radio 4 show but left the Zoom call moments before it went live after the new host – in her third day in the hotseat – left her mic on during a conversation with producers.
The actress was accused of anti-Semitism in 2017 when she defended Reggie Yates after he praised musicians who were not signed to ‘some random fat Jewish guy’.
Miss Okafor said in the now-deleted podcast: ‘Black people in the entertainment industry have been short-changed so much by the kinds of people Reggie Yates describes. Apart from the ”fat part” I don’t see what he said wrong.’
Barnett, who took over hosting the popular Radio 4 show on Monday, said she had invited Miss Okafor to debate the matter and ‘stands by her queries’.
She said it was her ‘duty to ask people what qualifies them as a leading voice in a space. And about any previous issues which may influence their views.’
Miss Okafor was set to appear on Women’s Hour to discuss the #MeToo movement
She added: ‘Just before I went on air this morning to present a special programme about Me Too – pegged to the anniversary of Harvey Weinstein’s court case – it came to my attention that Kelechi Okafor had made alleged anti-Semitic remarks.
‘I stand by my questions to my team and to Kelechi. I would have happily hosted her on the programme with a question on this issue.’
She said Miss Okafor denied the allegations. Campaigners have said Barnett’s gaffe meant no BAME voices were included in the MeToo discussion.
Revealing she had declined to appear on the show, Miss Okafor tweeted: ‘Because what I’ve just had to witness is absolutely degrading and vile.’
She added: ‘You can have a genuine concern about something you’ve been told about me and address it in a manner that is kind. That wasn’t what took place.’