In a video shared today, November 21, Joe Lycett confirmed that he shredded fake money in a publicity stunt designed to demonstrate the LGBTQ+ community’s disappointment in David Beckham.
Last week, the queer comedian publicly challenged David Beckham to terminate his £10 million partnership with the Qatar World Cup. He offered to donate £10,000 to LGBTQ+ charities if Beckham complied, but threatened to shred £10,000 of his own money if the former England football star went ahead with his ambassadorship.
A few days before the deadline, Lycett reiterated the challenge and gave Beckham the chance to “do the right thing”, but Beckham did not respond. The deadline to reply was November 20, the first day of the tournament, and the comedian tweeted an hourly countdown anticipating the livestream where he planned to destroy the cash.
Just before the opening ceremony, Lycett shared a livestream on Twitch where he appeared to drop large stacks of money into a shredder while wearing brightly coloured rainbow clothing. Tiny pieces of paper filled the screen like confetti before he casually walked away from the camera.
The move garnered a lot of media attention, and the comedian’s fans were conflicted over his choice to destroy the money. Some praised the bold move, claiming that it would have been disingenuous not to shred it after stating that he was willing to put his own money on the line. Others were disappointed, arguing that the money should have been donated to LGBTQ+ charities regardless of Beckham’s decision. Some viewers speculated if the money destroyed was even real.
This morning, Lycett shared another video with one final message to David Beckham:
— Joe Lycett (@joelycett) November 21, 2022
Joe Lycett surprised fans by clarifying that in the first video he shreds fake money. The money that went into the shredder was real, but the money that came out was fake. In fact, he had already made the £10,000 donation to LGBTQ+ charities in advance of the livestream.
In the video, he reiterates his disappointment in Beckham’s refusal to end his relationship with Qatar. He says that after Beckham failed to respond or even acknowledge the challenge, Lycett followed through with the ultimatum, but described the move as, “…an empty threat designed to get people talking”.
Before concluding the video, he proceeded to shred an Attitude Magazine from 2022 featuring David Beckham. It was the first gay magazine with a premier league football player on the cover, and with Attitude’s permission, he destroys the issue. Attitude responded saying that “the pleasure is all ours”.
— Attitude Magazine (@AttitudeMag) November 21, 2022
There has been widespread criticism of Beckham’s participation in the World Cup. From the beginning, Lycett has said that shredding the money would symbolically shred Beckham’s status as a gay icon. The amount was supposed to represent £1,000 for every million the football legend is reported to have accepted for his appearance with Qatar.
© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.
During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.
GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.