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Comment: Why aren’t we laughing off views like Evander Holyfield’s?

Richard Smith January 7, 2014
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Writing for, former Associate Editor of Gay Times, Richard Smith, says the reaction to Evander Holyfield’s homophobic remarks on Celebrity Big Brother shows “the gay public realm has been hijacked by new puritans – bullies, censors, bores.”

Are you watching Celebrity Big Brother?

No, neither am I.

But some gayers have now got their overpriced underpants in a twist cause someone on CBB has said… something bad about The Gays!



The accused, Evander Holyfield is a boxer, and a man who – let’s face it – neither you nor I had ever heard of before.

Oh, apart from some vague folk-memory about Mike Tyson having bitten a bit of his ear off long long ago.

Anyway, the other day Mr Holyfield said something nutty on Celebrity Big Brother about how he thinks being gay is wrong and that it could – and should – be cured.

As back up, he said it says in the Bible it’s wrong.

Case closed!

The man and his quarter-baked opinions are clearly an antiquated joke.

He’s a born-again idiot.

A bigot.

But instead of laughing this off some gay men have taken great offence.

Even complaining to Ofcom!

There’s probably a pointless online petition somewhere.

‘If you are mildly annoyed click your mouse now – then everything will be okay forever’.

But why?

Because people must not think bad thoughts or say things we don’t agree with?

Newsflash – Celebrity Big Brother is a reality TV show.

People watch it because it might show some vague semblance of reality.

So why be surprised – never mind horrified – when a real person says something that many real people really think?

This faux outrage over the slightest slight – sorry, ‘hate-filled anti-gay slur’ – has become a gay cliche.

Like when another vacuous Hollywood celebrity has said he’s not that keen on gay marriage.

Who cares what he thinks? He’s a vacuous Hollywood celebrity!

Just the other week there was some redneck on something called Duck Dynasty who also said something bad about The Gays?

I bet you never saw his TV show either, did you?

But he must be silenced – the gay thought police say NO! – and so he was suspended by the television station.


Because some thoughts are unbroadcastable, unsayable, now even unthinkable.

The gay public realm has been hijacked by new puritans – bullies, censors, bores.

Bedwetting pearl-clutching fools, desperate to take offence at anything and everything.

Privileged people painting themselves as victims.

There are so many things that are wrong in this world, why waste time on something as trivial as this?

When our mad right-wing enemies talk about a “gaystapo” – a new McCarthyism – it’s at times like this I increasingly think they may actually have a point.

And I worry our knee-jerk hysterical over-censoriousness is making us look like a joke.

Some people are still bigots – can we get over it, please?

Richard Smith is an independent journalist. His blog about gay men and the media – Fagburn – was nominated for Stonewall’s publication of the year 2013.

As with all comment articles the views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of

Related topics: anti-gay comments, anti-gay remarks, Boxer, celebrity big brother, channel 5, Evander Holyfield, homophobic remarks

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