Laurence Fox refuses to apologise for comments about Sikh soldiers in 1917
Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid called out Laurence Fox on Good Morning Britain as the actor refused to apologise for saying film 1917 was trying to be ‘deliberately woke’ for featuring a Sikh soldier.
The heir apparent to the ‘anti-woke brigade’ appeared on GMB to discuss comments he’s been making online and on TV about the world being ‘too woke’ for its own good.
Among his declarations was that WWI movie 1917 was trying to ‘force diversity on its viewers’ and was ‘institutionally racist’ for involving a Sikh soldier (despite thousands actually fighting, giving their lives and helping us win the war as a result).
As a result, Laurence was given a swift education on the amount of Sikh soldiers who actually died for us in battle.
On GMB, Piers started off the chat by admitting he agrees with ‘90% of what Laurence was saying’ but drew the line at his comments on the ‘gratuitous Sikh’ he had ranted about.
Susanna then immediately called him out on his comments against Sikh soldiers after playing the clip of the interview with Breitbart’s James Delingpole back, and said: ‘How is it institutionally racist Laurence to include a historical reality in a film?’
‘I think there were a lot of soldiers from all over the former empire weren’t there, fighting for World War One?’ he defended.
‘I suppose it would’ve been less incongruous to me, if he’d got on the truck to a whole regiment of Sikh soldiers.’
Susanna continued: ‘But Sam Mendes is a story teller? And he tells a story in his own way, felt it was important to tell this story. As I say, it is something that happened, Sikhs fought with British forces, not just their own regiment, that’s just a historical fact.
‘To call it institutionally racist to tell that story… is extraordinary.’
Shrugging off her line of questioning, Laurence mumbled that he didn’t think it was institutionally racist, but refused to apologise as he continued: ‘It feels, with just one Sikh solider there, you start going “Oh did the Sikh soldiers serve with the English?”
‘I’m not a historian, so I don’t know,’ he added. ‘It just felt incongruous.’
Piers threw Laurence another lifeline for an apology, asking if there was any kind of regret he had about the comment.
He then told him: ‘That to me, I didn’t really get what you were getting at. I felt it was slightly insulting actually to Sikh soldiers who served.
‘It felt to me as an unfortunate thing to have said.’
But again, Laurence remained defiant, and said: ‘I mean, as you’ve noticed I say quite a lot of unfortunate things. But I think it’s really important for one to express one’s opinion, and for that opinion to be attacked or taken down with bad ideas or better ideas.’
It’s a historical fact though…?
Good Morning Britain airs daily from 6am on ITV