Countdown star Rachel Riley found herself embroiled in a heated Twitter row with Coronation Street’s Nicola Thorp about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) on Wednesday.
The drama unfolded when the actress, 30, who plays Nicola Rubinstein in the ITV soap, asked her 35k followers why male circumcision isn’t treated the same way as FGM: the latter is illegal, the other is permitted.
However, when one Twitter user tagged Rachel, 33, in the post, the former Strictly Come Dancing contestant didn’t take too kindly to being dragged into the controversial debate.
Drama: Countdown star Rachel Riley, 33, found herself embroiled in a heated Twitter row with Coronation Street actress Nicola Thorp about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) on Wednesday
Question: The drama began when Nicola, 30, who plays Nicola Rubinstien (right) in the ITV soap, started a discussion with her 35k followers about why male circumcision isn’t treated in the same way and is still legal in the UK
She wrote: ‘Equating the two is outrageous. As is demanding an answer from me. Why I’m earth would I be obliged to answer such an ignorant question?’
In turn, Nicola didn’t appreciate her question being branded as ‘ignorant’ by Rachel and swiftly replied: ‘I’m not equating the two, but simply asking why one is allowable and the other illegal?
‘I understand that FGM is carried out to varying degrees by unqualified practitioners for despicable reasons. But what on what grounds is (non-essential) male circumcision allowable?
‘You’re not obliged to answer anything. But if you could educate me as to why my question is ignorant then I’d appreciate it.
Twitter spat: When one follower tagged Rachel in the post and declared that she failed to answer his earlier question on the subject and suggested she was too busy to respond, she didn’t take to kindly to being dragged into the discussion
‘I already understand the procedural differences, but I struggle to see how one would justify non-consensual surgery on a child (unless medically required).’
What followed these earlier replies was a heated exchange of words between the two, with Nicola explaining her views while Rachel continued to demand why she had been asked that particular question.
Responding to Nicola, Rachel tweeted: ‘Why on earth do you feel this is appropriate to question me on Nicola? Seriously. Think about it.
‘Your ignorance can be cured with google or asking someone relevant.’
The actress then tried to defend herself, telling Rachel that she did not directly address her and took the TV star to task for calling her ignorant.
Getting frosty: Following Rachel’s sharp reply, Nicola didn’t appreciate her question being branded as ‘ignorant’ by the Countdown star
She fired back: ‘You accused me of ignorance, so I’m asking on what grounds?’
Now fully embroiled in the row, Rachel replied: ‘No I didn’t. An idiot with four followers deemed it appropriate to apparently question me on the subject and then whinge on not having been replied to.’
She then added: ‘Said idiot would have stayed happily unseen unless you’d have replied with me tagged in. Again. Why ask me?’
‘I just clicked reply to the guy. Obviously you were tagged in the tweet so got notified,’ remarked Nicola.
Hitting back: Keen to get her point across, Rachel then gave her opinion on the topic and at the same time suggested what followers could do to educate themselves on the issue
Keen to get her point across, Rachel then gave her opinion on the topic and at the same time suggested what followers could do to educate themselves on the issue.
She tweeted: ‘FGM is an act of violence against girls, that reduces them to a transactional commodity of how much she’s worth to a man ‘pure/virginal’, which pr- age five in effect means un-raped.
‘It often leaves girls with horrendous medical problems, psychological distress and no health benefits.
‘If you want to learn more about the abhorrent practise of FGM, I recommend you follow and engage with the incredible @NimkoAli. If you want to ask about religious male circumcision, ask a rabbi or an imam.
Sharp response: ”You just got caught in the cross fire with a guy who tagged you in his tweet. As I said, I didn’t direct anything at you’
In a final dig at Nicola, she concluded: ‘If you want to morally equate the two, educate yourself, not through me.’
As she once again stated she didn’t directly ask Rachel the question and the Countdown star repeatedly asked why was she tagged, Nicola eventually drew the exchange of words to a close.
She said: ‘You just got caught in the cross fire with a guy who tagged you in his tweet. As I said, I didn’t direct anything at you.’