Hollywood star Rosanna Arquette is receiving advice from the FBI after public backlash to a tweet in which she apologised for being white.

The actress took to Twitter to say: "I'm sorry I was born white and privileged. It disgusts me."

She went on to say: "And I feel so much shame."

Arquette, whose younger siblings Patricia Arquette and David Arquette are also Hollywood stars, was slammed on social media for her stance.

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Comments included calling her a "white-hating white woman" and "racist".

The backlash became so severe, Arquette told The Wrap she was advised by the FBI to make her Twitter account private.

"Yes I'm locked to protect myself, I was told by FBI to lock it up," Arquette said. "There are toxic and very vicious people on social media. Threatening and cruel."

She added: "I said yesterday that I am ashamed of the colour of my skin. I am privileged just because I'm white. I feel shame. Because of all the violence that is happening in America and other racist countries.

The tweet that caused the backlash. Photo / Twitter
The tweet that caused the backlash. Photo / Twitter

This isn't the first time Arquette, who starred in Desperately Seeking Susan and Pulp Fiction, has been outspoken on social issues.

She has been a leading voice in the #MeToo movement, one of the first women to accused disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault.

Arquette said her career had been hurt by speaking out. She told Variety that "I don't have an agent, so, I think there's backlash for sure".

"There's a lot of people that made a lot of money from him, and continue to.

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"There's a boys club that protects the boys. He's just one of many men, as we're seeing more and more men being exposed for their awful behaviour and their abuse of power."

Her representative Danny Deraney told USA Today that Arquette "stands by" her remarks.

"Rosanna has been active in civil rights and equal rights all of her life," he said.

"She is extremely passionate about these things."