An online LGBT “Pride” celebration in the UK became the latest victim of “cancel culture” after activists found that its organizer is a Brexit supporter and liked tweets from Nigel Farage and Toby Young.
As we reported last month, most in-person “Pride” events and parades were canceled in favor of virtual alternatives amid the coronavirus pandemic.
This virtual event, organized by Charlie Shakespeare, was set to feature appearances by singer Danii Minogue and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. All proceeds from the event were also to be directed to various LGBT charities.
After the Labour Party’s diversity adviser, Linda Riley, discovered that Shakespeare supported a “clean break Brexit” and had liked tweets from Farage and Young, she withdrew her support.
Riley, who also publishes DIVA magazine, told organizers of the event that “my brand will not be associated with anybody who RT’s [retweets] Toby Young and Nigel Farage”, according to The Daily Mail.
Shakespeare contended that Riley’s decision seemed “a little politically bigoted”, to which Riley responded by declaring that she is “proud to be a political bigot.”
“Apparently I’m a political bigot because DIVA magazine has withdrawn any support of Virtual Pride as one of the organisers supports Nigel Farage & Toby Young,” Riley wrote. “For clarity, any LGBTQ event which supports the likes of these will not have my support. #proudtobeapoliticalbigot.”
Apparently I’m a ‘political bigot’ because @DIVAmagazine has withdrawn any support of #VirtualPride as one of the organisers supports @Nigel_Farage & @toadmeister For clarity any #LGBTQ event which supports the likes of these, will not have my support #proudtobeapoliticalbigot 😡
— Linda Riley (@LindaRiley8) May 12, 2020
“As soon as Linda Riley sent that tweet, performers started dropping out like flies. Artists were contacting us apologising but said that they worried about getting gigs in the future. They were coming under pressure to pull out,” Shakespeare told the Mail.
By Thursday, half of the performers had already backed out of the event, leaving him “no choice” but to cancel.
I'm proud to be one of the protagonists in #MailOnSunday's account of the collapse of Virtual Pride (an online festival I created eight weeks ago for the UK LGBT+ community following the Coronavirus outbreak).
Thank you @Mike__Powell 👏 https://t.co/UAiIYEJ4Ev @DailyMailUK
— Charlie Shakespeare (@CharlieShakes) May 17, 2020
“It seems to be that there is no place for you in the LGBT+ community if you are Right-wing. Just because I liked a tweet by Nigel Farage, I’m now blacklisted,” he said. “Who benefits? The charities do not, the performers do not. They just didn’t like me so they had it cancelled.”
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