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Owner of LGBT Awards was rebuked for calling gay employee a ‘cream puff’

Nick Duffy October 11, 2015

PinkNews Exclusive
The entrepreneur behind one of Scotland’s biggest LGBT award shows was previously rebuked for allegedly calling a gay employee a ‘wee poof’ and a ‘cream puff’.

The ICON Awards were staged in Glasgow on Friday by Paramount Creative – with stars including Bruce Devlin, Conchita Wurst and Michelle Visage turning up to the glitzy show.

Paramount Creative also runs the Scottish Italian Awards, the Scottish Entertainment and Hospitality Awards, and the Scottish Home Improvement Awards.

However, PinkNews reported back in 2007 that Paramount’s CEO Warren Paul was involved in a homophobic discrimination case via a separate company, CP Publishing Ltd.

A 2007 tribunal heard that Mr Paul allegedly called a gay employee a “wee poof”, said he looked like “a cream puff”, and asked if he was “from Stoke on Trent” – rhyming slang for “bent”.

At the time the company was ordered to make one of the largest payouts in British history (£118,000) to the employee – while Mr Paul was singled out for criticism for “overtly abusing and humiliating him on the grounds of his sexual orientation.”

Mr Paul today told PinkNews he is trying to make amends for the incident, and step up for the LGBT community.

He said: “The ICON Awards was created to bring LGBTI rights to the world and let everyone know what [sic] we are all the same no matter what beliefs we have.

“Going to 2007, that period of my life had a profound effect on how I viewed people and life in general.

“I decided that I could either retreat to the background, or step up and stand up for the LGBTI community in atonement – I decided on the latter.

“I am a proud employer of LGBTI people and I have since decided that I had to stand up for gay rights in a way no one else ever has.”

He added: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the support from the LGBTI community, media, government and the Scottish public.

“My team and myself have dedicated the last year working hard to build bridges within the community and I’ve very proud to be an ambassador for the LGBTI community who have taken me into there hearts.”

PinkNews is not aware of him mentioning the tribunal ruling until today.

SNP MP Angela Crawley was awarded the politician of the year award at the event.

The ICON awards were launched earlier this year in aid of HIV charity Waverley Care. It’s unclear what proportion of the proceeds go to the charity.

The event is one of two new large-scale LGBT awards in Scotland, competing with the Scottish LGBTI Awards, which raises funds for LGBTI charity the Equality Network.

Eurovision diva Conchita Wurst was among the stars in attendance at the ICON Awards on Friday.

The ICON Awards lists sponsors including the Royal Air Force and the Sunday Herald – as well as LGBT partners QScene, Gaydar, Pride Glasgow and Pride Edinburgh.

More: Awards, Charity, Discrimination, event, Gay, Homophobia, LGBT, Scotland, Scotland, sexuality, show

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