Stacey Dooley slams ‘white saviour’ backlash with Ugandan boy

Stacey Dooley slammed claims she brushed off backlash

In the wake of facing criticism and being called a ‘white saviour’ after posting an image of herself with a young Ugandan boy earlier this year, Stacey Dooley has come out and slammed the idea her selfies were ‘sinister’ and that she’s not listening to criticism.

Stacey Dooley with a Uganda boy

In March the Kevin Clifton reacted for taking the snap with the young boy while on a Comic Relief mission and captioning it ‘obsessed’, questioning her intentions and whether she even had permission.

MP David Lammy later slammed her as a ‘white saviour’. The topical conversation raged on this week when she gave what some believed to be a leaden response from an audience member at Sheffield’s DocFest on the matter.

Not giving up on sharing selfies of her documentary travels, this morning she shared an image of herself with a woman, both smiling for the camera. We’re not sure if she expected people to just swish past the image on their feed without chiming in, but of course they did in droves.

Instagram user Tyler Duff responded: ‘At least this black person is old enough to consent to being in a photo with you.’

Stacey was quick to revert, amid of flurry heated responses, saying it was not okay to say her intentions behind the snaps were sinister.

‘…I understand the wider conversation that people want to have, and I understand that some are saying they feel it’s a tired narrative…I get that,’ she wrote in reply to Tyler.

“What is not okay is people making out like we were somehow sinister in our approach. It’s just completely untrue to suggest we didn’t ask for consent. We spent the day with his grandad. He has a working relationship with Comic Relief,” she noted. 

Defending her decision not to justify every comment that is levelled against her, Stacey continued: ”Also, people saying, ‘she’s not listening, she doesn’t wanna hear criticism’ is bulls**t too. ‘I’m willing to listen and learn, however I’m not willing to feel I have to justify myself to those who have already made up their mind, based on info they’ve been fed, by people who weren’t there.’

Seemingly referencing the seminar she attended this week in which she was said to have failed to address David’s criticism, Stacey said she spoke with an audience member, and shared her details should they want to chat further.

Earlier this week, DocFest audience member Annalisa Toccara shared a video of Stacey’s answer to a question about David’s post, in which she can be heard telling the audience: ‘I can only speculate in terms of what he was trying to say, what conversation he was trying to have, because he never picked up the phone to me. ‘It all felt quite hysterical and quite divisive and then he went on TV programmes and was shouting, and trying to get his point of view across. ‘If he was familiar with my work, he would know I’ve been going to Africa and lots of different countries for the last 12 years, and it’s never about me. It’s about making sure these people are heard.’

Stacey continued on social media: ‘A guy this week shouted out his concerns, and instead of trying to brush it off, I made sure he was given a microphone and then went up to him after the talk had finished and gave him my personal details. ‘I can’t tell you how much I’ve read that is just total bollocks.’

She continued, “ultimately, the main priority is that the people on the ground felt happy with my behavior.” 

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