Disability news

Social influencer makes derogatory disabled slur

Lydia Millen

A social influencer has not lived up to their role after including a derogatory term in a YouTube video.

Lydia Millen, 35, posted a clip last Monday where she recalled the trouble she experienced publishing her first book, where she called herself a ‘mong’.

The video triggered a number of replies from her 989,000 followers criticising the use of the word.

But instead of making an apology Mullen defended the outburst by saying she was referring to comparing her ‘scruffy appearance’ to a ‘mongrel mixed breed dog'.

Her explanation was not accepted by her followers who demanded she omit the word from the video, which has now been taken down.

Millen finally made a statement saying: 'Hi everyone, I’ve just come online and seen some of the comments on this video.

'I want to absolutely clarify that the word in question was said in regards to a scruffy (mongrel mix breed) dog, in direct reference to my scruffy appearance.

'I wanted to comment immediately as I would never use a word/this word to offend anyone and I want to make this absolutely clear.

'Thank you for your messages & comments, Lydia x'

Her response received a mixed response, some argued that she took ‘take accountability’ for actions whilst others said people should ‘give her a break.’

One reply read:  'She used a word that was historically used in Britain to derogatorily describe people who are diagnosed with Downs syndrome

'She is attempting to suggest she didn’t know that’s what it meant and that she confused it with a different shortened word to describe mixed-breed dogs. 

'Basically, she used an insulting slur and is now backtracking with a hideous excuse rather than deleting the video and apologising. As always, it’s the fault of thousands of people who found it offensive, rather than her own.'

Another said:  'As the mother of a child with a learning disability, who has had this word thrown at them, I take it VERY personally. 

'It is a dreadful word, and is not acceptable. Stop making excuses for bad behaviour. Lydia should try flinging this word around at her next posh event/horse trials/whatever, and see how long it is before she is kicked out.'

But it wasn’t all negative, some came out in defence of Millen realising she did not mean to cause offence.

One person said: ‘Oh dear gosh, some people drunk too much vinegar. You can not say anything these days. People don't take shit so personally.'

A second response read: 'I have to say out of all of the vloggers I am subscribed to, people are the harshest with you Lydia. 

'I don’t understand why to be honest. You’ve got an overly aggressive critical audience. When people watch vlogs it’s for escapism not for criticism. Lydia is human just like the rest of us. Be kind to her.'

[ Lydia Millen has also been criticised for checking in at the Savoy Hotel after she had no heating at home ]

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