The Evening Standard received some criticism on Twitter from readers on Monday. The article, featuring straight celebrities, was published in partnership with an LGBT+ campaign by Adidas. Celebrities, who each designed their own shoe, were asked what makes them proud, in celebration of diversity and the queer community.
The paper published an article with the headline “Becks and Payne reveal what makes them glow with pride in honour of annual parade” alongside photos of five celebrities.
— Chris Mandle (@chris_mandle) June 25, 2018
The former One Direction member who is no stranger to LGBT+ controversy said that having a child made him proud.
“I think since I’ve had a little boy, everything changes in life. I’m aiming more for him to be prouder of me, and already he’s making me a better man, which I think is incredible,” said Payne in the article.
Critics on social media slammed the article for highlighting straight people who were asked what Pride means to them, rather than the LGBT+ community.
I am so embarrassed that 1. This question was asked.
2. Pride is not even understood by the journalist.
3. That celebs who should bloody well know better actually answered this dumbass insulting question. https://t.co/wXZXp0qnDz
— Victoria Evans (@WhovianMummah) June 25, 2018
The second quote was from David Beckham: “What makes me proud in 2018 is the world that we live in — the diversity, the quality, the creativity … I have a young family and I want them to grow up in a world where they are given a chance, where they are part of that diversity and equality. I think we’re in a really positive place and it can only get better.”
Of the five celebrities pictured in the article, only two are openly gay, it also features quotes from only two gay men, Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw and husband of Sir Elton John, David Furnish.
Grimshaw spoke about how he has grown to be confident in his sexuality. Furnish discussed how marriage equality has improved over time.
Critics argued that the use of high profile straight celebrities to highlight LGBT+ issues is part of an increasing trend of Pride becoming “straight-washed”. Far too often Pride is used as an outlet by corporations who want to advertise but are otherwise uninterested in the queer community, or used as an excuse to party.
I thought that was very odd on p3 of the Standard yesterday – Beckham and Liam Payne saying what they were proud of, as if it’s just a general lower case p pride not Pride. Really bizarre
— Jane Merrick (@janemerrick23) June 26, 2018
The campaign by Adidas is raising money for the Albert Kennedy Trust, an organisation in England dedicated to helping LGBT+ youth who experience homelessness and hostile living situations. Each celebrity was given a pair of trainers to decorate for the cause.
Chris Mandle, Entertainment Director at Shortlist, wrote: “Worth pointing out this campaign is raising money for the Albert Kennedy Trust, which is a brilliant cause helping tackle LGBTQ+ homelessness. But come onnnnnnn. The quotes alone tell you Liam Payne has nothing significant to say about the LGBTQ community.”
Beckham’s design was a nod to the soccer franchise in Miami he is setting up, Sir Elton inscribed inspirational messages on his trainers, while Paloma Faith created a floral pattern.
A free exhibition will be held at the HENI Gallery in Soho during London Pride Week from July 4 to 10 where the shoes can be viewed. Proceeds from the auction on July 3 will go to the Albert Kennedy Trust.
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