WATCH: Leigh Francis apologises for "offensive" portrayals of black stars on Bo' Selecta!
5 June 2020, 11:34 | Updated: 5 June 2020, 12:16
The Keith Lemon star has posted an emotional video discussing some of the stars he portrayed in his comedy sketch show.
Leigh Francis has apologised for his portrayals of black people on Bo Selecta!
The creator of the Channel 4 sketch show - in which he played the character Avid Merrion and portrayed a host of celebrities using masks - has shared an emotional video on his Instagram where he's reflected on some of his depictions of black stars.
He captioned the video: "Following recent events, I’ve done a lot of talking and learning and I would like to put this out there. I want to apologise to anyone that was offended by Bo’selecta. I’m on a constant journey of knowledge and just wanted to say I’m deeply sorry. #blacklivesmatter".
Watch it above.
In the video he began: "Hi, my name's Leigh Francis, I play a character called Keith Lemon on television. It's been a weird few days. It's been a weird few days. I've sat and thought about things and what I could post to try and help things..."
He continued "Back in 2002 I did a show called Bo Selecta. I portrayed many black people. Back then I didn't think anything about it, people didn't say anything, I'm not going to blame other people.
"I've been talking to some people and I didn't realise how offensive it was back then."
The 47 year-old TV personality added: "And I just wanna apologise and, you know, say sorry for any upset I caused, whether I was Michael Jackson, Craig David, Trisha Goddard - all people I'm a big fan of."
He concluded: "I guess we're all on a learning journey."
Many stars from across the entertainment world have been empowered to speak for anti-racism and the Black Lives Matter cause following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed when a police officer knelt on his neck.
This week saw music and entertainment fall silent on social media in solidarity for Blackout Tuesday.
Actor John Boyega hit the headlines for his speech at a Black Lives Matter protest in Hyde Park this week and was commended by his Star Wars colleagues.
Watch a clip of his emotional speech here:
Adele wrote a passionate statement on Instragram in which she said: "racism is alive and well everywhere," and urged her fans to "keep listening, keep asking and keep learning".
View this post on Instagram
George Floyd’s murder has sent shockwaves around the world, there are countless others that haven’t. Protests and marches are happening all over the globe simultaneously and only gaining momentum. So be righteously angered but be focused! Keep listening, keep asking and keep learning! It’s important we don’t get disheartened, hijacked or manipulated right now. This is about systematic racism, this is about police violence and it’s about inequality. And this isn’t only about America! Racism is alive and well everywhere. I wholeheartedly stand in solidarity with the fight for freedom, liberation and justice ♥️ #blacklivesmatter #georgefloyd #saytheirnames
And Liam Gallagher shared a selection of photos and ways to support the cause.