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Calling someone ‘woke’ is equivalent to a ‘racial slur,’ UK actress Cathy Tyson claims


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A British actress has claimed that being called “woke” is “as bad” as a racial slur.

Cathy Tyson, who rose to prominence following her turn as a high-class call girl in 1989’s “Mona Lisa,” explained in a new interview about the role of race and identity in the entertainment industry why she finds the term offensive.

“I imagine some of the readership use the word ‘woke.’ For me, it’s as bad a term as an offensive racial slur,” Tyson, 58, shared in the sit-down with the Telegraph — a conservative publication that she also admitted she would “never” have chatted with when she was younger.

“The terms ‘woke’ and ‘race card’ are deeply offensive to me,” she continued, noting that the latter “is thrown in your face if you make a criticism of anything,” while the former is tossed around to “undermine” progressive ideas.

“Even the term ‘white privilege’ is very, very divisive. I’m not about sides,” Tyson explained, adding that studying for an English degree later in life “taught me how to open my mind to different viewpoints.”

“How do we all get on together? It’s complex, there’s a lot of people of all colors who are suffering financially, who are hungry, at the moment,” she said in the interview published Tuesday.

Tyson was raised in Liverpool by her mother, who was of Irish descent, while her lawyer father worked in his native Trinidad.

“My mother was called, you know, a ‘N-lover,’ by certain people,” she told the outlet of growing up in the Toxeth neighborhood around the time of the infamous 1981 riots over tensions between police and the black community.

“There were problems between Catholics and Protestants, then you had black and white, there was joyriding at night, there were juvenile delinquents,” she recalled.

“I was aware of why [the riots] flared up, but there was a level of drama all the time, I was used to it.”

Tyson also touched on her experience speaking with sex workers while preparing for a part in the 1995 series “Band of Gold.”

“I was aware of why [the riots] flared up, but there was a level of drama all the time, I was used to it.”

“I met some lovely people,” she told the Telegraph.

“I saw what they went through. I also dressed up in a miniskirt and walked down Bradford High Street one day with my hair out, just to see what looks I would get. And I got some scornful looks from women, and I thought, ‘Oh, that’s what they’re faced with every day’; it’s difficult to live in that environment, where you’ve got such hostility towards you.”

Last year, Tyson won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Supporting Actress for her turn as a care home resident in “Help,” a television film about the COVID-19 pandemic.

She is now playing the disdainful mother of a chef in BBC One’s “Boiling Point,” a spinoff of a 2021 film, and has also formed a production company, Brown Girl Films, and plans to direct a feature film, the outlet noted.

In a reflection on the industry, Tyson said that casting should be “color-blind, size-blind, age-blind.”

“Society is always ahead of the industry — there are women of my age doing all sorts of amazing things,” she pointed out.

Debates over so-called “wokeism” or “woke culture” have dominated headlines for months, with Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy even authoring a scathing takedown book titled “Woke, Inc.”

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