During Thursday’s edition of the ITV daytime show, Eamonn spoke to Dr. Zoe via video-link, when Eamonn said her hair “reminds me of an alpaca today.”
He then told her. “You just want to pet it, don’t you? It’s very alpaca-ish.”
Shortly afterwards, footage of the exchange was circulated on social media with many viewers criticising Eamonn for his inappropriate comments about a Black colleague’s hair, pointing out it was a microaggression.
Eamonn subsequently issued an apology, and now Dr. Zoe has addressed the situation in a lengthy Instagram post.
Noting that she has accepted Eamonn’ apology, the doctor added that she wants to use this an opportunity explain microaggressions.
″(Eamonn) has done the right thing by apologising to me directly,” Dr. Zoe said. “I have accepted his apology. What I want to say is that I’m aware that his remarks, though meant without malice, have offended people. And if that comment had been made to me by a stranger, then I too would likely be offended.”
“I feel torn as on the one hand it pains me to see the abuse that Eamonn has been receiving because of this (that’s not ok either)... But on the other hand it has opened the door to a conversation that I feel needs to be had.”
Dr. Zoe continued: “Microgressions are normally subtle comments made towards minority ethnic or culturally marginalised groups that communicate derogatory, hostile or condescending options. The comments can be made with or without malicious intent but nevertheless are offensive to the person they’re directed at.
“Many people with afro/textured hair go to great lengths whether consciously or unconsciously to feel more accepted and/or avoid comments, judging and touching... I straightened my hair for years trying to fit in before deciding to wear my hair naturally, but now my afro is a part of my identity and I’m proud to show it off.”
Dr. Zoe rounded off her post by stating that: “It’s ok to get it wrong, we all do. What comes after the mistake is what matters most.”
After sharing her response, Dr. Zoe was praised for speaking out by Coronation Street actor Victoria Ekanoye and Strictly Come Dancing winner Ore Oduba.