'White saviour' row is ‘nothing to do with race’

Stacey Dooley

Friday, March 1, 2019

Focus on the term “white saviour” has distracted from wider issues about the west’s relationship with Africa, according to Race on the Agenda's vice chair, Maurice Mcleod.

Stacey Dooley came under criticism by Labour MP David Lammy who said the Strictly star’s recent Comic Relief trip to Uganda promoted “tired and unhelpful stereotypes”.

However, Mr Mcleod said Mr Lammy’s choice of words should not distract from the wider issue of how Africa is presented as "pot-bellied and fly-covered" in the West.


Speaking to talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer, Mr Mcleod said: “It’s unfortunate that David used the term ‘white saviour’ because it has nothing to do with the race of who’s going out and doing this stuff.

“Comic Relief does encourage the notion that all of Africa is pot-bellied and fly-covered, which it most definitely is not.

“After 30 years it is time for the conversation to be different - let’s look at how we in the west deal with Africa through trade and aid, rather than constantly promoting that there’s poverty there.”


'No apologies'

A Comic Relief spokesperson yesterday said the charity would “make no apologies” for sending Ms Dooley to Uganda.

“She has filmed and reported on challenging issues all over the world, helping to put a much-need spotlight on issues that affect people’s lives daily,” the spokesperson added.