British anti-poverty charity Oxfam International apologized for using the term “TERF” in a video.
The video referenced alleged hate groups online and offline with an image featuring what appears to be a man of Indian or Hispanic origin, an Asian man, and woman with red hair wearing a button reading “TERF.”
TERF, which stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist, is a derogatory term used to denote supporters of feminism who disagree with the sentiment of transgender ideology.
On Tuesday morning, the charity announced the video was removed due to “concerns” raised. Oxfam International released a statement addressing the incident in a follow-up post.
“Oxfam believes that all people should be able to make decisions which affect their lives, enjoy their rights and live a life free of discrimination and violence, including people from LGBTQIA+ communities,” reads the statement. “We have therefore edited the video to remove the term TERF and we are sorry for the offense it caused. There was no intention by Oxfam or the film-makers for this slide to have portrayed any particular person or people.”
OFFICIAL STATEMENT: pic.twitter.com/NbYKspgIuS
— Oxfam International (@Oxfam) June 6, 2023
“We fully support both an individual’s rights to hold their philosophical beliefs and a person’s right to have their identity respected, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics.”
In another post, the charity shared an edited version of their original video with the image of the three aforementioned figures removed.
Some users noted the white woman with red hair in the original video appeared to resemble Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.
“If you’re in the business of creating images, you know exactly what message you want to send,” wrote one user who noted the cartoon appeared to resemble the author. “If the likeness was unintentional it means you are very bad at your job.”
If you're in the business of creating images, you know exactly what message you want to send. If the likeness really was unintentional it means you are very bad at your job.
As they passed this, ultimately it's the responsibility of @Oxfam to make a genuine apology to @jk_rowling https://t.co/jZXIvbivaU pic.twitter.com/JwGMf7P0ow
— StephanieDavies-Arai BEM (@cwknews) June 6, 2023
Rowling, who has been criticized for her opposition to transgender ideology, has not addressed the incident, though has “liked” a series of posts noting Oxfam International’s cartoon’s resemblance of the author.
Users also noted the Asian man in the original video appeared to have a stereotypical portrayal of distinct yellow-tinted skin with noticeably almond-shaped eyes.
The Post Millennial’s Andy Ngo, who has been criticized for reporting on LGBT issues, suggested he may have inspired the stereotypical “slant-eyed” depiction of an asian man.
“The worst thing about the Oxfam Pride cartoon isn’t the depiction of JK Rowling – it’s the depiction of Andy Ngo,” wrote one user who suggested the depiction of the Asian man would have been considered racially insensitive in 1923.
“I guess Oxfam’s blue-haired zealots think their crusade so important they’re blind to their own bigotry.”
The worst thing about the Oxfam Pride cartoon isn't the depiction of JK Rowling – it's the depiction of Andy Ngo. Such imagery would've been racist in 1923, never mind 2023.
I guess Oxfam's blue-haired zealots think their crusade so important they're blind to their own bigotry. pic.twitter.com/gjun3yYz55
— Leo Kearse – see me on YouTube & Headliners (@LeoKearse) June 6, 2023
Similar to the original video, the updated version alleges LGBTQIA+ are “deprived [of] basic safety, not protected by laws, preyed on by hate groups online and offline, discriminated against at work, deprived of opportunities, and pushed to the margins.”
Oxfam International’s video praises supporters of LGBTQIA+ who protect and champion safety for the community.
The video concludes by encouraging viewers to “stand together with queer folks” online, at work, in schools, in sport, and through laws.
Oxfam International has not addressed critics who suggested the charity used racially insensitive imagery as of Wednesday.