Nicola Sturgeon grilled by host over Janey Godley Tweets
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And Michelle Ballantyne, who quit the Conservatives earlier this year to become the leader of Reform UK Scotland suggested the First Minister believed Ms Godley’s public apology over posts denigrating among others Kelly Rowland and 50 Cent should “wipe the slate clean”. Ms Godley, 60, was paid a reported £12,000 for a series of TV adverts promoting the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 health campaign.
She was axed after the posts came to light, and subsequently apologised for her “offensive, hurtful language”.
Questioned on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Ms Sturgeon said: “The tweets that were brought to my attention yesterday were completely unacceptable, completely beyond the pale.
“I would not in any way, shape or form seek to defend them.”
However, pressed on the SNP’s original decision to work with Ms Godley, who found viral fame with her dubbed pastiches of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s coronavirus news briefings in recent months, she added: “These things happen.
“The important thing is that action was taken.
“Janey has apologised – I think she has been pretty straightforward and dignified in her apology.
“She’s a comedian – as she said herself she thought it gave her licence to say things that she now accepts were completely out of order and unacceptable.”
Ms Ballantyne told Express.co.uk: “Ms Sturgeon’s strange defence of Jane Godley’s offensive offerings appear to suggest that as she herself has made mistakes and apologised Ms Godley’s apology should wipe the slate clean.
“Whilst branding the comments unacceptable, it is clear that In the world of Sturgeon it’s not what is said that matters but who has said it.”
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She explained: “Jane Godley must apparently be forgiven for her disgraceful utterings because they were simply a ‘misunderstanding’ by a well-meaning comic and outspoken supporter of independence, no harm meant!
“But in the real world Ms Godley was the SNP choice to front their campaigns, their comic genius whose sharp tongue and caustic vile wit were seen as a weapon against the enemies of their cause.
“Sturgeon encourages and promotes these foot soldiers and her gritted teeth statements of surprise and horror when their true nature is exposed is as shallow as Sturgeon’s support for the Union.”
Controversy flared after US website the Daily Beast highlighted tweets by Ms Godley dating back several years.
In one, she branded the former Destiny’s Child singer a “horsey faced black wummin” and in another claimed she spoke “like the stereotyped black Aunt Jemima who stands on a stool in the Tom & Jerry cartoons”.
In a third, she said: “If Kelly talks like a ghetto blaster racist black chick am gonna punch her rice and peas.”
In a post aimed at 50 Cent, she said: “There’s nothing classier than a black rap man in a well-cut suit with photo’s of guns in the background…mmm sexy.”
The website said it had sent a list of Ms Godley’s offensive messages to the Scottish Government but had received no reply.
In her subsequent apology, Ms Godley, whom Ms Sturgeon referred to in October as her “alter-ego”, said: “I thought being an outspoken comedian meant I could get away with saying anything I wanted and people would accept that and not take it out of context, but that’s completely wrong.
“I have to stand up and own my offensive, hurtful language and apologise.
“They have horrific undertones and I deserve all the criticism that comes my way.”
The episode this week threatened to overshadow the SNP’s annual conference, which Ms Sturgeon has used as a platform to push the case for a second referendum in seven years on the subject of Scottish independence.
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