This Morning’s Rochelle Humes has been discussing the backlash she faced last year, when she was announced as the presenter a Channel 4 documentary. Some felt The Saturdays singer had been favoured over a darker-skinned host
Rochelle Humes was once left scared to take her children to nursey after a terrifying death threat.
The This Morning presenter faced a backlash at the start of 2021, when it was announced she would be presenting a documentary about Black women dying in childbirth.
A debate began when it was suggested that The Saturdays singer had ‘replaced’ Candice Brathwaite – a darker-skinned Black woman – on what would go on to become The Black Maternity Scandal: Dispatches.
After originally staying silent regarding the colourism debate that occurred last year, Rochelle has now revealed the social media backlash at the time resulted in her receiving death threats.
Recalling the fallout on The Diary Of A CEO with Steven Bartlett, Rochelle, 32, said her husband Marvin took her phone away so she could not see the hate she was receiving online.
“I didn’t want to make it about me. I didn’t want to make it about the fact that actually I was scared to take my kid to nursery that day because I got death threats,” the presenter admitted on the podcast series.
“Marvin did take my phone off me though, I love my phone at the weekend, he was like ‘that’s going off’ and he literally texted everybody that works with me and was like if you need her I’m here but no more phone.
“I turned everything off, I turned off comments and then I was like I’m not dealing with this, I’m just going to live my life and I literally cried for 48 hours and was devastated.”
Elsewhere in her chat with the Dragons’ Den star, Rochelle explained how she originally handled the situation at the time of the backlash.
“I announced that I was filming it and did a call out to say this is what we’re filming and it sparked a real conversation,” the star recalled.
“People didn’t know those stats and I think that was for me really important that we get that on a big stage.
“Then overnight the dial turned. There was a post that was posted on Instagram from another woman who is an author and a presenter that had said that she had been asked to front the same show.
She continued: “I’d woken up to and seen this post and was mortified, she was a darker-skinned black woman, the first thing I did was DM her ‘this is my number, I don’t know what s*** has gone down here but this is my number, give me a call’.
“To this day I’ve not heard from her… then that sort of triggered this whole conversation of the fact that I’d taken a darker-skinned woman’s bread and the dial switched overnight and I was beside myself, devastated.”
Rochelle added: “It sort of snowballed into this chat and colourism most definitely exists, I’m aware of that. I might be lighter than one woman but I’m definitely darker than some.
“I let that conversation play out because the more we talk about these things the better, however it was harsh and it was a hard pill to swallow.
“When I talk about that blue tick responsibility… one post can set a whole community alight when actually it was incorrect and that’s where I think we all need to do better in our position to make sure that we’re always posting the right information.
“If I spoke on it… the noise would have just kept snowballing out of control.
The documentary The Black Maternity Scandal won a British Journalism award last year.
It explored the shocking fact that Black women are four times more likely than White women to die during pregnancy and childbirth and up to six weeks after.
Elsewhere in her new podcast chat, Rochelle revealed she donated her presenting fee on the documentary to charity.
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