Rochelle Humes has addressed the claims she ‘replaced’ Candice Brathwaite as presenter for a Channel 4 documentary, which aims to highlight the mortality rates of Black women in pregnancy and childbirth.
There had been speculation and rumours that TV presenter and influencer Rochelle Humes had ‘replaced’ TV presenter and best-selling author Candice Brathwaite, in an upcoming documentary investigating disproportionate mortality rates in Black women in pregnancy and childbirth.
Earlier this week, we wrote about the public outcry following a post by Candice to say that she thought she would be presenting a documentary that Rochelle had announced she would be fronting.
This came the day after Rochelle announced she will be presenting a new documentary that will be investigating the mortality rates of Black women, “in pregnancy, childbirth and shortly after”, a similar subject to the documentary that Candice was in talks with producers for.
“The more we talk about it, and real changes are made, the more chances we can have for a more level playing field..”
Candice spoke up on Instagram earlier in February about having “lost jobs” to “light-skinned Black women”, not long before she announced she would no longer be presenting the childbirth documentary.
Supporters assumed that Candice had been dropped from the documentary and had been replaced by Rochelle. The assumptions grew due to the similarity and timings of both the TV presenters’ posts. Candice’s Instagram post went viral and sparked conversations about colourism and silencing Black creatives.
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A further Instagram post by Candice revealed that in fact, and [by coincidence] Rochelle was also presenting a documentary on the topic after a producer on the documentary that Rochelle is hosting, called her to clarify that she was never in the running to present their documentary.
Addressing the rumours herself to “speak to the facts,” Rochelle wrote, “Hey gang, the situation around the documentary playing out online is [complex] and I know that my response won’t satisfy everyone.”
She explained why she took on the role, to bring the issue to the “widest possible audience” and to utilise her platform to “add further reach and visibility to this ongoing issue, with the sole intention of creating broader awareness to affect change.”
“This is bigger than me and not about me, I’m just bringing this topic to a wider audience and championing the incredible women that haven’t yet had their voices heard.”
Rochelle revealed that she was, “offered the role as host last year.”
She finished her Instagram story with, “This is bigger than me and not about me, I’m just bringing this topic to a wider audience and championing the incredible women that haven’t yet had their voices heard. I want to honour the brave people who have opened up and shared their journeys in the hope that, collectively, we can understand from, learn from and end these needless deaths.”
The furore around this story shows how close to people’s hearts this issue is and how imperative it is that we are allowed to tell our stories, authentically.
With the situation being so dire and Black women suffering the fatal effects of systemic racism in maternity, now is the time put the issue in the spotlight so why can’t both documentaries be commissioned?
The more we talk about it, and real changes are made, the more chances we can have for a more level playing field for Black women and mortality in childbirth.