James Blunt under fire for 'homophobic' joke
JAMES Blunt isn't a musician known for his careful turn of phrase on social media.
But his recent tweet featuring the front cover of the New Statesman has been criticised by LGBT campaigners for perpetuating negative homophobic stereotypes.
'The Class Ceiling,' reads the strapline. 'Does it pay to be to posh?'
The cover features an illustrated caricature of Blunt, together with fellow former public school boys David Cameron, Boris Johnson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Damian Lewis, Chris Martin and Eddie Redmayne, sipping Champagne in white tie.
No doubt pleased to be included among the affluent success stories, Blunt tweeted the following:
Much to the distaste of gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who told the Daily Mail: "It would be helpful if James could explain what he meant by those words and make it clear he is not homophobic."
"In 2015 it's astounding that old 'jokes' about gay men dropping the soap in a shower still do the rounds, particularly given today's popularity of shower cremes," a spokesperson for LGBT charity Stonewall told The Independent.
"It's disappointing that James had to trot out a tired 1970s homophobic gag, but gay people will be pleased to know that he does have a new album out (available from all good retailers)."
Some followers on Twitter were similarly bemused by his remarks.
Blunt has since responded with the following:
And in today’s PC news, jokes about public school boys rogering each other are OFF! Even if we did. http://t.co/RCVKoOEE6l— James Blunt (@JamesBlunt) January 30, 2015
But he is yet to receive a tweet from this guy.
The tweet comes after the musician branded Labour's Chris Bryant a 'classist gimp' in an open letter. The shadow culture secretary said the arts were dominated by public school alumni, naming Blunt and Redmayne among the privileged elite.
"Perhaps it protected me from your kind of narrow-minded, self-defeating, lead-us-to-a-dead-end, remove-the-'G'-from-'GB' thinking, which is to look at others' success and say, 'It's not fair,'" he concluded, signing off with a terse, "Up yours, James Cucking Funt."
Bryant replied with an open letter of his own, asking "James Cucking Funt" not to be so "blooming precious".
The Welsh Assembly rugby team is now attempting to sign the former army officer to the squad to play a match against Bryant in its annual Commons & Lords fixture.