Confronted with antisemitism by Jewish host, actress quits BBC show

Nigerian-born UK actress Kelechi Okafor drops out of a BBC program meant to deal with the #MeToo movement after learning she will be asked about alleged antisemitism.

Demonstrators hold up signs during a Black Lives Matter protest in Whitehall, London, on June 7. (photo credit: HANNAH MCKAY/ REUTERS)
Demonstrators hold up signs during a Black Lives Matter protest in Whitehall, London, on June 7.
(photo credit: HANNAH MCKAY/ REUTERS)
Host of the BBC Women’s Hour program Emma Barnett allegedly exposed her plan to ask Nigerian-born UK actress Kelechi Okafor about her supposed antisemitism while unwittingly speaking near an open mic, the BBC reported on Thursday, causing Okafor to drop out of the program rather than confront the Jewish presenter.  
While Barnett argued that Okafor was fully aware she was going to be asked about antisemitism, the actress claimed she was led to believe the program will deal with the #MeToo movement and that she was treated in a “degrading” manner. BBC claimed that the remarks had nothing to do with race. 
Aired on Wednesday, the program dealt with the trial of Jewish-American film producer Harvey Weinstein marking one year after the much publicized court case. Barnett reported that the Weinstein affair turned the already existing #MeToo label into a global force. She hosted US actresses Rosanna Arquette and Caitlin Dulany; Okafor was meant to be the third guest. 
Jewish people’s various roles in show business reached British media’s attention after British actor Reggie Yates said in 2017 that the great thing about the new generation of British artists is that they are managed by their “brethren” and not “some random fat Jewish guy from northwest London.” The comment was slammed as antisemitic and Yates apologized for it, but Okafor supported him at the time as speaking the “truth.” 
Barnett herself is a Jewish-British woman who didn’t shy away from addressing her own personal family history in a 2017 Sunday Times piece in which she confronted her father Ian being sent to prison for running brothels in Manchester.