A charity severed ties with trans model following a columnist’s transphobic tweet about the partnership
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A British journalist who tweeted at a children’s charity, accusing them of “hir[ing] a porn model” for its ambassador, has reportedly led the organization to remove its work with trans model and activist Munroe Bergdorf.
“Hey @NSPCC can you please explain why a children’s safeguarding charity has hired a porn model as a Childline ambassador? It’s an astonishing decision. Is it worth the cancelled direct debits?” Janice Turner, the journalist in question, tweeted to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).
In a Twitter thread on Saturday, Bergdorf shared details of her work with Childline, a segment NSPCC in the U.K. Bergdorf wrote that she worked free of any charge for the campaign and that the charity removed her work from its website without notifying her.
“They decided to sever ties without speaking to me, delete all the content we made together and back-peddle without giving any reason why,” Bergdorf wrote in a tweet. “My role with Childline was not paid, I accepted their request to become their first LGBT+ campaigner because I care about the wellbeing of all LGBT+ kids, but especially trans kids who are consistently targeted by British media outlets.”
A spokesperson for Bergdorf told the Daily Dot that Bergdorf only found out about the removal of her work through her publicist. The spokesperson also confirmed that Bergdorf has been working 100% unpaid with NSPCC since June 4.
In an email statement to the Daily Dot, NSPCC acknowledged that Bergdorf has supported “the most recent phase of Childline’s campaign which aims to support children with LGBTQ+ concerns,” and she has only been “referred to” as a Childline ambassador.
“At no point has she been an ambassador for the charity. She will have no ongoing relationship with Childline or the NSPCC,” the statement read.
The charity is now facing backlash for seemingly bowing to transphobia. Turner, a columnist for British newspaper, the Sunday Times, understandably received backlash for her tweet.
This is a horrible, horrible tweet. Had to read it repeatedly to even wrap my head around how gross it is. The only “astonishing decision” is the one you took thinking it, typing it, and sending it. Shameful.— Paul Fischer (@tencents77) June 9, 2019
Putting aside for a moment that “porn model” is an inaccurate and inflammatory choice of words, the reason @MunroeBergdorf is a Childline ambassador is because kids need strong, resilient and diverse people as role models and not bitter, judgmental columnists.— Amanda Jette Knox (@MavenOfMayhem) June 8, 2019
That's what Janice Turner and friends are afraid of.— Mallory Moore (@Chican3ry) June 8, 2019
This is not the first time Turner has drawn the public’s ire for being transphobic. Turner has a history of making transphobic comments. She is not backing down by continuing to defend herself on Twitter.
Sorry, can you not read? I wrote “porn model” as in modelling for porn title Playboy. Perhaps, since you made an error, you’d like to delete?— Janice Turner (@VictoriaPeckham) June 7, 2019
Turner has, in the past, equated having mental disorders to being trans, and has claimed that a fight for gender-neutral changing room at Topshop would “sacrifice the wellbeing of children.”
On Saturday, Turner updated her pinned tweet with numerous links to her articles arguing against the porn industry–or institutions such as Playboy magazine.
As Bergdorf, and others, noted on Twitter, it’s not only Turner’s transphobia that’s unsettling but also the latent bashing of the porn industry in her tweet that’s problematic.
The point is there's so many famous women working with charities who've done photoshoots. Yet you never called them out. You gave them a pass. But the trans woman? BOYCOTT NSPCC. Is your position that any woman who's done a shoot can't do a charity appeal? Pretty weird if it is.— Jake Horsfield (@JakeHorsfield) June 9, 2019
The phrase “I read it for the articles” is cliche for a reason, and playboy have used that to their advantage. You could have learnt a lot from their profile on @MunroeBergdorf titled “what Munroe Bergdorf can teach us about womanhood” if you had acted as a journalist.— mmyesno (@g43734171) June 9, 2019
This is not feminism, this is a female engaging in misogyny— Han (@LilmissJones1) June 9, 2019
Women who oppress woman. An impossible climb for genuine feminists when the privileged seek to push down fellow women. Especially women who are members of the LGBTQ+ community.— Slxtr (@Ukulelee_) June 9, 2019
So this woman hates both transwomen and sex workers. And she thinks she has the right to moral police anyone?!?— Sangeetha Thanapal (@kaliandkalki) June 9, 2019
Janice Turner did not respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comments.
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Samira Sadeque is a New York-based journalist reporting on immigration, sexual violence, and mental health, and will sometimes write about memes and dinosaurs too. Her work also appears in Reuters, NPR, and NBC among other publications. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School, and her work has been nominated for SAJA awards. Follow: @Samideque