In an unexpected turn of events, Amanda Abbington, known for her role in Sherlock, has withdrawn from the popular BBC competition, Strictly Come Dancing. Initially, her absence last weekend was attributed to medical reasons, and she was anticipated to return for the Halloween special. However, an official announcement on Strictly’s social media channels confirmed her withdrawal due to “personal reasons.”
Abbington addressed the situation on her Instagram page, emphasizing that her decision was not made lightly. Her departure from the competition comes amid a backdrop of controversy involving her past comments related to the LGBTQ+ community.
A Controversial Past: Statements on Trans Rights and Drag Shows
Abbington faced backlash for her comments on trans rights in a 2020 Facebook post. She had expressed her desire for a dialogue about trans rights but faced accusations of being trans-exclusionary. In a video posted in August 2023, she publicly regretted her comments, attributing them to being “ill-informed” at the time.
Her remarks also extended to family-friendly drag events. In March, she criticized a drag event aimed at parents and babies, questioning its appropriateness. While she insisted she was not targeting the trans community, her comments sparked further debate.
Clarifying Her Stance on LGBTQ+ Issues
In her August Instagram video, Abbington clarified her stance on LGBTQ+ issues. She expressed her admiration for drag queens and their contributions to the entertainment industry. However, she maintained her concern about age-appropriate content in front of children.
Abbington asserted that she is not transphobic and supports the legitimate trans community. She suggested that some individuals had infiltrated the community with harmful intentions, causing division. She reaffirmed her willingness to support any trans person facing persecution or lack of recognition.
The controversy surrounding Amanda Abbington’s past comments on LGBTQ+ matters has played a role in her decision to withdraw from Strictly Come Dancing, marking a complex chapter in her journey on and off the dance floor.