Artist branded 'spoilt rich girl' apologises over post mocking scaffolder for 'having one GCSE'

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An artist branded a “spoilt rich girl” after she mocked scaffolders saying “these guys look like they got one GCSE” has admitted her actions “were not big and clever”.

Hetty Douglas also hit out at online trolls who targeted her with “violent and sexist abuse” after she posted an image of two workmen as they queued in McDonalds on Instagram with the caption questioning their intelligence.

Warren Butt, who was snapped wearing jogging bottoms and workmen’s boots, hit back at the dig and said Ms Douglas had made him and a colleague “look like idiots”.

Now, the 25-year-old, who lives in Peckham, south London, has issued a lengthy apology and admitted her actions “were not big and not clever”.

She said, in a statement posted on her website: “I should have just let it go, but it hit a nerve so I took a photo of some of the men and posted to my Instagram account with a dig at their intelligence. 

Controversial post: Hetty Douglas posted this image on Instagram (@hettydouglas)

“Not nice and not clever and I didn’t really think it through. In the age of social media, the gap between having a thought and broadcasting it to thousands can be a few seconds.”

The artist, originally from Nottingham, went on to claim the workmen in the picture were not the “large group of guys” she had meant to capture in the image.

She added: “Of course, what I did was wrong, particularly because the guys I captured in the photo weren’t the loud ones. Also they were wearing working clothes – it turned out they were scaffolders – and it looked like I was saying that people who do manual jobs are stupid. That’s not my view and it was me that was stupid for not seeing how it might look.”

After the image was widely shared on social media, online trolls directed abuse at Ms Douglas.

One person on Twitter branded her “vile” and said she was “rotten to the core” while others claimed she was the “result of an incestuous relationship” and aimed violent threats at her family.

She added in her statement: “What happened next was surreal. 

“Some people didn’t like what I’d said and made that clear to me, which was fair enough. But they also shared their disapproval on social media and before long there was a massive backlash which included threats of violence, sexist abuse and thousands of hostile posts on Twitter and other platforms.” 

Ms Douglas also hit out at claims she was “posh” and said she “always worked for everything she’s got”.

The artist added that she had written to the men involved to apologise and shared worries she had “no future career” following the incident.

The former University of the Arts London student concluded: “For everyone else this is a cautionary tale: don’t make brash judgments on others, and certainly don’t put them on Instagram.”

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