Elio Di Rupo, Belgium’s openly gay Prime Minister, has been branded as “shameless” after he was filmed changing his shirt on a behind-the-scenes television programme.
According to Le Huffington Post on Tuesday, the image of the Belgian leader undressing from his shirt on a hot day was used as part of the teaser for a programme on the private lives of famous personalities.
It has since stirred up a great deal of controversy among rival politicians.
Alain Destexhe, a liberal politician, said: “It’s outrageous. I am ashamed for our country Belgium.”
He added: “In which country in the world would a head of state or prime minister stoop so much to devalue and trivialise his function? Imagine if Obama, Hollande, Rajoy, Merkel or Cameron undressed before a camera.”
Journalist Emmanuelle Praet also called the shirtless image “the epitome of indecency.”
He came out in 1996 when he was accused, wrongly, of having had sex with a male minor. A journalist said: “They say you are a homosexual.”
He replied, “Yes, so what?”
In the interview with Van de Woestyne, Di Rupo described the journalists as being “so surprised they stopped jostling each other”.