Gay broadcaster Stephen Fry has attacked the Independent on Sunday’s Pink List for “insulting” and “sneering at” camp TV presenter Louie Spence.
The newspaper published its annual Pink List of the most influential gay people earlier this month. It also included a “rogues’ gallery”, which Spence, of Pineapple Dance Studio fame, was in.
He was described as a “gay stereotype” whose 15 minutes of fame would soon be up.
The list’s judges included former culture secretary Ben Bradshaw, broadcaster Clare Balding, Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill, and former basketball player John Amaechi.
Fry initially attacked Stonewall for “insulting” Spence, but later updated his blog to say that he had been told the ‘rogues’ gallery’ had been written by an Independent on Sunday journalist, rather than the panel.
He wrote: “I have had private word of an element of the deliberations that tells me that maybe the deliberators weren’t to blame, but some Sindie journalist who took it upon him or her self to write the Rogues Gallery section without the deliberators’ knowledge or consent.
“Well, if I have done Ben Summerskill and Clare Balding and the others who helped put the list together a disservice, I am really sorry.”
In his original post, Fry wrote: “By singling out Louie Spence for lofty disapproval, by sneering at his ‘mincing’ they are turning their back on, dissociating themselves from, insulting and demeaning a fine man and whole way of being.
“An authentic, strong, charming and lovable person, every bit as ‘courageous’ as the others on the list, certainly more courageous than me, Louie deserves respect and support, not insult and derision.
“Do they want people like him not to count, do they see him as being guilty of a choice in his manner and his demeanour, just as homophobes everywhere accuse all gay people of choosing their sexuality and preferences?”
Fry concluded by saying he was renouncing his position as number three on the list and giving it to Spence.