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Four Lads in Jeans from iconic viral meme condemn ‘upsetting’ homophobic abuse after months of trolling

Patrick Kelleher January 29, 2021
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Four Lads in Jeans homophobia McDonald's

The Four Lads in Jeans faced homophobic abuse over their appearance and fashion choices after they became a viral meme. (Instagram)

The “Four Lads in Jeans” who found fame when they became a viral meme have hit out at the “upsetting” homophobic comments some trolls made about their appearance.

Kevin Rooney, Alex Lacey, Jamie Phillips and Connor Humpage shot to internet fame when a photo of them on a lads’ night out in Birmingham from 2019 went viral.

Now, one of the lads in question, Kevin Rooney, has opened up about the toll homophobic comments about their appearance and dress sense had on them.

Rooney said: “We’re lads who love banter and can take a joke but when it starts getting hateful to minority groups then something has to be done.

“We’d have anonymous trolls saying homophobic things about our appearance which was upsetting as I have friends and family members who are gay and lesbian.

“I hate thinking that’s something they’ve gone or are going through.”

Four Lads in Jeans want to improve life for people with mental health issues.

He continued: “After all the hateful comments, we want to use our time in the spotlight to try and make the world a better place for everyone, especially those who might be suffering with their mental health or being bullied online.”

The Four Lads in Jeans generated hundreds of thousands of likes on social media when their photo went viral. The photo recently had a resurgence when it was given a sea-shanty spin-off.

And the lads’ moment in the spotlight isn’t coming to an end just yet – it was announced on Friday (29 January) that they have signed on as brand ambassadors for McDonald’s app order function, called Click & Serve.

Speaking about the partnership, Rooney said: “When the opportunity came around to work with McDonald’s the lads were buzzing. I mean, it’s McDonald’s. It doesn’t get much bigger than that! And to be a new face, or voice, of the brand is such a privilege.

“We might be famous now but getting your McDonald’s easily and safely is still a top priority. We were chuffed when McDonald’s asked us to help promote and educate people about how to use Click & Serve.”

The new Click & Serve allows people to place their order on the McDonald’s app, and they can then collect their order by parking in designated Click & Serve parking bays at their local branch.

Related topics: Homophobia

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