‘I will keep on speaking up, in my wonderful voice, for what I believe in,’ comedian says
The comedian, who has ataxic cerebral palsy, appeared on the BBC political debate show alongside secretary of state for education Nadhim Zahawi, shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy, president of the National Farmers’ Union of England and Wales Minette Batters, and LBC journalist Nick Ferrari.
In a tweet posted in the early hours of Friday morning (8 October), Jones wrote: “The sad thing is that I’m not surprised at the ableist abuse I’ve received tonight regarding my appearance on Question Time.
“It’s indicative of the country we live in right now. I will keep on speaking up, in my wonderful voice, for what I believe in.”
Many viewers have been sharing their support for Jones on Twitter, with one fan posting: “People literally pay money to hear Rosie Jones speak, it’s her f***ing job.
“If you can’t understand her, that feels like a you problem. Try actually listening instead of being an ableist d***head on the Internet.”
Another observed that Jones was “by far the most articulate panellist” on Question Time and said the “gobs****s on here taking the piss out of her need to have serious words with themselves”.
Comedian and Pointless host Richard Osman said Jones was “changing the world for the better”.
“Which is a gig you didn’t apply for, but there you are, up on the stage,” he said in a reply to Jones’s tweet. “Very proud to know you.”
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Nandy also commented on the abuse aimed at Jones, tweeting: “I had the pleasure to meet Rosie Jones last night. She talked so much sense on #BBCQT and the audience really appreciated it. Waking up to see this social media abuse is vile. Solidarity Rosie.”
Journalist Frances Ryan wrote: “It’s hard to express how pathetic you must be to mock a disabled person daring to be in public. That’s why representation is so important – so disabled people are your boss, your TV host, your MP, your mysterious sexy crush. Love to Rosie who we will PROTECT AT ALL COSTS.”
The debate was hosted by Fiona Bruce in Aldershot, Hampshire, with audience members asking questions of the panel.
According to the NHS website, ataxic cerebral palsy is “when a person has balance and co-ordination problems, resulting in shaky or clumsy movements and sometimes tremors”.