Oxfam apologises for Pride cartoon that featured ‘TERF’ insult

A screenshot from the controversial cartoon clip  (Oxfam )
A screenshot from the controversial cartoon clip (Oxfam )

Oxfam has removed a Pride cartoon on social media after facing a backlash for including an offensive term.

The international charity wrote that “a more equal future is possible” when “all gender identities and expressions have agency over their lives” in a tweet last Thursday.

Along with the text was a cartoon clip, in which a voice is heard asking: “How are you marking Pride Month this year, while LGBTQIA+ people around the world 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.”

An illustration later shows three people with red eyes and angry faces towering over six figures in the colours of a rainbow.

The central character, a white woman with short brown hair, is seen wearing an orange badge on her which says “TERF” – short for trans-exclusionary radical feminist.

Activists on social media complained that the image “demonises” older women and that the term “TERF” is offensive.

Other users said the woman wearing the “TERF” badge looked similar to Harry Potter author JK Rowling, who has been outspoken on trans issues in the past.

Oxfam has now edited the video to remove the term “TERF” and apologised for the offence caused.

An Oxfam International spokesperson said: “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. In efforts to make an important point about the real harm caused by transphobia, we made a mistake.

“We have therefore edited the video to remove the term TERF and we are sorry for the offence it caused. There was no intention by Oxfam or the film-makers for this slide to have portrayed any particular person or people.

“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.”