Liam Payne has been accused of misunderstanding the meaning of LGBT pride after featuring in a controversial Adidas campaign.
But many of the celebrities interviewed were straight, including Pharrell Williams and David Beckham, and Payne’s comments in particular were singled out after he said: “I think since I’ve had a little boy, everything changes in life. I’m aiming more for him to be prouder of me, and already he’s making me a better man, which I think is incredible.”
Payne’s musings prompted one Twitter user to ask if he thinks LGBT Pride is “literally about being proud of things?”.
The inclusion of prominent straight celebrities in an article highlighting LGBT issues adds to growing concern that Pride is being “straight-washed”, and has turned into nothing more than an excuse to party and for corporations to advertise.
Earlier this year the organisers of a Pride march in Sheffield were accused of whitewashing the history of the LGBT community after they announced “offensive” political banners would not be allowed on the march.
In a statement widely shared on social media, Pride Sheffield said the 2018 march was one of “celebration not protest”, while a message on its website said it would not be accepting “any applications by political groups”.
It backed down after criticism, with many people pointing out the political roots of the Pride movement, and highlighting continuing high rates of violence against the LGBT community in the UK and around the world.
In the Adidas campaign feature, David Beckham fared slightly better for mentioning “diversity and equality” in his answer.
He said: “What makes me proud in 2018 is the world that we live in — the diversity, the quality, the creativity ... I have a young family and I want them to grow up in a world where they are given a chance, where they are part of that diversity and equality.
“I think we’re in a really positive place and it can only get better.”