Rachel Riley: Viewers ask for her removal from Channel 4 after controversial post on Sydney Mall Stabbings

Countdown's Rachel Riley may have apologised for her controversial tweet on the Sydney Mall incident but Channel 4 viewers are still unimpressed as they call for her to be sacked.

Rachel Riley Sydney Mall Stabbings Tweet
© Dave Benett/Getty_Images
Rachel Riley Sydney Mall Stabbings Tweet

The recent Sydney mall incident sent ripples around the world as it was reported that a man started stabbing shoppers at random and a nine-month-old baby was one of the six people killed in the horror attack. Many celebs from around the world addressed the violent crime and shared their opinions.

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Rachel Riley - the British television presenter and mathematician - also made a tweet that people claimed has undertones of Islamophobia.

Rachel Riley receives severe backlash

Best known for her role as a co-host of the popular game show Countdown, Rachel frequently speaks out about antisemitism. The television presenter has become a household name ever since 2009 and also took part in Strictly Come Dancing. She was appointed an MBE in the 2023 New Year Honours for services to Holocaust education.

In a now-deleted post on X Rachel was accused of perpetuating Islamophobia when she falsely claimed the horror attack was a Palestinian uprising. Her original post read:

For six months now, people have been out on our streets proudly calling for the ‘Intifada Revolution’. If you want to know what ‘Globalised Intifada’ looks like, see the Sydney Mall.

However, Riley faced severe backlash to her post including calls for Channel 4- for which she presents Countdown - to fire her. Many took to X and wrote:

Rachel Riley should have been sacked in 2019 over her disgusting and desperate attempt to smear Corbyn with that idiotic tshirt. And she should be sacked now for her hate inciting islamophobic tweets designed to inflame racial tensions.
Hi @Channel4. I am a viewer. Rachel Riley's racism is unacceptable to me. #SackRachelRiley
I cannot, in good conscience, remain silent. We must not remain silent. When we see such bigotry, Islamophobia, racism & hatred we must call it out. Rachel Riley must be held accountable for these vile & divisive comments.

According to The Express, Rachel has apologised for her original post in a lengthy new one on X. In the new post, she explains how her message was ‘misunderstood’ and apologised for the same. She said:

Just to clarify, my intention with this tweet was not to say this attack was caused by any ideation or to link it to Islamic extremism.

Rachel insisted that at the time of her post, ‘we did not know who the attacker was’ and so she refrained from making any reference. She added that her only motive was to ‘highlight the weekly calls for 'intifada' being tolerated in London and around the world.’

Rachel Riley’s history of backlash

This is not the first time that the well-known TV star has received severe backlash or asked to be sacked by Channel 4. In 2019, when she was pregnant with her first child, Rachel wore a T-shirt with an old photo of the Labour Party leader on it that had been photoshopped to read ‘Jeremy Corbyn is a racist endeavour.’

The image was a historic moment from 1984 when Corbyn was protesting apartheid in South Africa. The original image showed him holding a sign that read ‘Defend the right to demonstrate against apartheid; join this picket,’ reports Metro.co.uk. Rachel has been vocal about her opposition to Labour due to allegations of anti-Semitism in the party and as such was asked by viewers of Channel 4 to be sacked. One wrote:

So, @Channel4, how long are you going to let your employee get away with this sort of thing? Countdown is becoming unwatchable for A LOT of people now

#SackRachelRiley began trending on X back then as well, as it’s doing now.

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