Panel of White Women Named 'Karen' Launch Petition Demanding Different Label for Racists and Anti-Maskers

A panel of white women all named "Karen" appeared on a United Kingdom television show Monday in which they blamed the media and anti-racism protests for unfairly stigmatizing their monikers.

The group of Karens discussed how their shared name has unfairly become synonymous with racism and anti-maskers through memes, TikTok videos and news reports in recent months. One of the Karens, an Oxfordshire woman, highlighted a Change.org petition they recently set up to show "this is not fair for us to have to put up with this." Appearing on the ITV This Morning program Monday, the Karen panelists said their name is being used to label entitled white women and other people of bad character - something they should be able to discuss without ridicule.

A few of the Karen panelists said racist people should simply be described as "racist" as they urged news outlets, tabloids and social media users to refrain from lumping them in with the bad behavior expressed by random white women and others in viral videos across the globe.

"I just noticed a few, sort of memes and TikToks going on and it started off being quite funny if I'm honest. And when the Black Lives Matter protests started, and there was a lot of media putting Karen as racist, it sort of took on a life of its own," said Karen Masters, one of the Karens on the U.K. morning program.

"We're labeled as racist, entitled, anti-maskers and we're just not that sort of person," she said. "It's totally unfair and we want the media and the tabloids and the papers to stop using our name to describe racist people. I think you should describe racist people as racist and not use our name."

"And I feel that we can't, as Karens, now talk about how it's affecting us because we are told that we're entitled if we do this," Masters continued. "So I set up a Change.org [petition] to show this is not fair for us to have to put up with this."

The petition, which has already garnered the 500 signatures it requested, features a description written by Masters: "My name is Karen, and I've had enough of my name and my Karen friends being used to describe racist women in the tabloids. This also applies to all other names like 'Susan' to be described as a collection of terrible people in the media. It's unfair to use a name to describe a collection of woman who are racist or not law abiding. As a Karen, this is upsetting and unfair. Please help me to get this stopped."

"Today: Karen is counting on you," reads the Change.org petition notice which was first posted Sunday and is titled, "To stop the use of 'Karen' to describe racist women in the tabloids."

"The irony is not lost on me one bit when I set the change.org campaign, I enjoy a laugh and have done so at some of the silly Karen memes and tiktok content," the comments on the notice continued.

The women appearing in the U.K. panel are far from the first people to suggest that the newly pejorative term "Karen" should be replaced instead by labels that directly describe each person's actions. Several journalists and even people who have recorded viral incidents of racism, anti-mask rants or other public outbursts have urged people to react more constructively.

"This Karen euphemism has gotten out of hand. These women are nurses, teachers, police, realtors, food handlers...First and Last Name+Place of Employment, nothing less," reads a July 1 tweet from a filmmaker which was liked by hundreds of thousands of Twitter users.

"The 'Karen' thing was cute at first but it's actually harmful in that it others, or distances, white women who violently uphold white supremacy from the 'default' state of white womanhood to a scapegoated periphery that allows most white women to feel free of culpability," reads a June 29 tweet shared by tens of thousands of social media users.

Newsweek reached out to Masters through the Change.org petition Monday afternoon, but did not hear back before publication.

karens panel itv morning show
A panel of white women all named "Karen" appeared on a United Kingdom television show Monday morning in which they blamed Black Lives Matter and anti-racism protests for unfairly stigmatizing their monikers. Screenshot: This Morning | Twitter