Dr Anne Anderson also said some media commentators were of ‘colour disposition’ during an online conference
A professor has filed a lawsuit over allegations that she lost her accreditation after calling Meghan Markle ‘the dreaded Meghan’.
Dr Anne Anderson, honorary professor at the University of Exeter, also said some media personnel were of a ‘colourful disposition’ – a claim which later formed the core of the complaints.
But after losing her accredited lecturer status last May, Dr Anderson is now suing the Arts Society in the High Court.
She claims her dismissal violated her contract with the company.
His comments about Meghan were made during an online lecture titled: ‘How We Got IKEA: Scandinavian Design 1880-1960’.
Throughout the conference, the members discussed Meghan and Prince Harry days after their interview with American television journalist Oprah Winfrey.
Ms Anderson said: ‘Oh my God, you couldn’t turn on the TV without someone with a colorful temper complaining about something.’
This triggered an offence. Two complaints were filed and one conference attendee left.
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After the conference, Ms. Anderson’s accreditation was suspended pending an investigation.
Ms Anderson later challenged the decision, before the Arts Society panel dismissed the allegations of racism and instead called her comments ‘inappropriate’.
The company urged her to take a diversity training course, which the professor refused.
She then lost her accreditation.
Dr Anderson Richard Eden of the Daily Mail: “I lost three quarters of my income.
“I can not sleep.”
A spokesperson for the Arts Society stood by their decision, calling it “appropriate”, adding: “We are satisfied that we acted in a reasonable and measured manner.”
A statement from the Arts Society read: “A serious complaint of racism has been made against Dr Anderson. We obviously had a duty to investigate. We also had a duty, of course, to ensure that the process was fair to Dr. Anderson. We have fulfilled both these duties.
“The decision to withdraw Dr. Anderson’s accreditation was regrettable but necessary. First, Dr. Anderson failed to comply with some of the conditions imposed on him by the Complaints Committee on April 19, 2021, following the committee investigation into an allegation of racism.Secondly, by addressing the press with an inaccurate account of the facts and the complaint procedure, she brought discredit to the Arts Society.
“The decision to withdraw his accreditation was therefore appropriate in the circumstances.
“We are a learning organization and a broad church of views and interests, and we welcome scrutiny and criticism. But we also have the right to act when false and unfair allegations are made against us.
“We did everything we could to avoid such an outcome, while maintaining our commitment to diversity and investigating serious complaints.”
The statement adds: “We can well understand that this has been a difficult time for Dr Anderson, and we are sorry to hear that his sleep has been affected. But it is difficult to see what we could have done differently. We would have liked to avoid this result, but we are convinced that we have acted in a reasonable and measured way.
“A subsequent review by members of the Board of Trustees (who were not involved with the Arts Society at the time the complaints were made) looked at our handling of this matter and concluded that we had acted properly.”