NSPCC faces backlash as it drops transgender campaigner from Childline

10 Jun 2019 News

NSPCC faced a backlash over the weekend over its reaction to criticism of its work with transgender activist and model Munroe Bergdorf. 

Last week Bergdorf was one social media influencer who publicly supported the charity's gender identity campaign. There was then criticism on social media on Thursday 6 June from people who questioned whether she was an appropriate ambassador and highlighted that she has modelled for Playboy.

NSPCC was subsequently criticised for bowing to criticism when it said in a statement on Friday 7 June: “At no point has she been an ambassador for the charity.

“She will have no ongoing relationship with Childline or the NSPCC.”

It said: “Munroe Bergdorf has supported the most recent phase of Childline’s campaign which aims to support children with LGBTQ+ concerns.”

Questions over transphobic pressure

A spokesperson for Bergdorf told the BBC yesterday: "[NSPCC is] bowing down to pressure from a transphobic lobby running a hate campaign."

On Thursday 6 June Janice Turner, a Times journalist tweeted: “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?”

Annie Wallace, actress and Mermaids patron tweeted yesterday: “The latest furore surrounding @MunroeBergdorf is yet another example of the toxicity facing trans people for the last few years. The marginalising of a respected, intelligent woman who has the potential to help thousands of trans people...

“... and the cowardice and ill-judged reaction of companies (@NSPCC) when faced with a well-orchestrated campaign by trans haters and their mainstream media acolytes. Hopefully this will be sorted out when someone intelligent arrives at their desk tomorrow morning…

“... and sees sense. The fact that there's a rainbow flag on their profile pictures here and on Facebook needs addressing for one. You can't claim to support LGBT+ if you're throwing the T people under the bus for the pleasure of a bunch of gender-critical cranks.”

Bergdorf: 'Childline’s first LGBT+ campaigner'

Bergdorf announced on Twitter on Wednesday 5 June that she was proud to be Childline’s first LGBT+ campaigner.

She said: “The wellbeing and empowerment of LGBTQIA+ identifying children and young people is something that I have been passionate about throughout my career as an activist.”

On Saturday 8 June, Bergdorf tweeted: “[NSPCC] decided to sever ties without speaking to me, delete all the content we made together and back-peddle without giving any reason why.”

NSPCC trustees received "transphobic letters" after the appointment was announced, according to the BBC.


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