• Emily Prescott

The Londoner: I’m not afraid of ‘kill whitey’ joke critics, says Sophie Duker

Sophie Duker, the comic at the centre of a storm over a “kill whitey” joke on a panel show, tells The Londoner “I am deliberate and afraid of nothing” as she hits back at her critics.

“The bullies wanted me sacked, shamed, silenced,” Duker writes in a piece on online outlet Bustle addressing the furore, adding that her point “about white supremacy harming people of every race” was drowned out.

The comedian appeared on Frankie Boyle’s New World Order show last month where “midway through, I made the obvious point that ‘we don’t really mean we want to kill whitey,’ before quipping, ‘We do! Nah, not today.’” Initially there were no complaints, but a few days after the show aired Duker’s joke was picked up and she was soon the target of online abuse and the subject of newspaper columns.

“It became clear that if someone’s projecting bile at you, there’s probably a sickness deep inside,” Duker tells us, adding “it was a harsh wake-up call to the toxicity of the media but now I couldn’t care less”.

Duker explained how she stayed grounded: “One of my dearest friends (a white guy) sent me 3kg of expensive gammon. Others filled my letterbox with flowers.” She received abuse online, she says on Bustle: "my socials clogged with upstanding citizens calling me a 'vile racist whore,' posting monkey emojis and swastikas".

Duker added "I could wang on about why my esteemed colleague’s "kill whitey" works comedically... but it’s not my joke, it’s not the point, and bullies tend to be less fussed about what Black women actually say, more the fact that we’re speaking."

She said she wouldn't be cowed from making jokes, explaining: "Life is short, puns are fun, and mama wants to roast some gammon. Fightback.

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