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The Black Maternity Scandal: Rochelle Responds To 'Devastating' Backlash Over Channel 4 Documentary One Year On

Ali Condon

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The Black Maternity Scandal: Rochelle Responds To 'Devastating' Backlash Over Channel 4 Documentary One Year On

Featured Image Credit: YouTube/Instagram

Rochelle Humes has opened up about the backlash she faced one year ago for fronting the Channel 4 documentary The Black Maternity Scandal.

The investigative doc exposed that Black women are four times as likely to die during pregnancy and childbirth and up to six weeks after.

Before it aired, the presenter was subject to serious criticism online when it was announced that she would host the documentary, with many suggesting that she wasn't 'black enough' to speak on black women's issues.

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Looking back on it almost one year later, Rochelle confessed that the backlash she faced was "the hardest thing I've come across in my career."

The Saturdays star admitted that she was "devastated" to see the dial turn overnight from support to criticism.

Speaking to Stephen Bartlett on his podcast The Diary of a CEO, Rochelle recalled: "I felt really hurt because, first of all, I was being denied of my black gene - first off. Secondly, the community that I'm making this show for... weren't happy about it until they saw it."

Rochelle also pointed out that if she had turned down the offer to front the documentary, she would have been subjected to just as much backlash, describing it as a lose-lose situation.

Before it aired, the presenter was subject to serious criticism online. (Credit: YouTube/The Diary Of A CEO)
Before it aired, the presenter was subject to serious criticism online. (Credit: YouTube/The Diary Of A CEO)

After deciding to keep her head down and stay quiet on the situation, Rochelle explained that she had consulted with her management, the production team, and the women involved in the documentary to make sure she was the right person for the job.

She said: "Those women I spoke to - it was for them. And the whole time I was checking they were okay with this... and I was getting their take on this. And if they had said to me at one point: 'Roch, I actually think maybe step down from this', I would have done. I genuinely would have done. But they trusted me."

Despite receiving death threats over her involvement, Rochelle explained that she had to remind herself that it wasn't about her, but rather the "bigger picture".

The Saturdays star admitted that she was "devastated". (Credit: YouTube/The Diary of a CEO)
The Saturdays star admitted that she was "devastated". (Credit: YouTube/The Diary of a CEO)

The mum of three said: "People were saying things like 'you've got enough money, give it to a presenter that didn't have that opportunity.' I'm like, I didn't take the money from the show. That's what you don't know.

"I gave it to the charity that I was working with. I didn't take a penny from that. If anything it cost me money. But was I going to write that in a statement to make myself look like the angel?

"No, because it wasn't about me and I think sometimes it's just... you don't need to jump to your defence to prove you're an incredible person all the time. I know where it was coming from and that's enough."

Topics: Celebrity, Channel 4

Ali Condon
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