TUV leader Jim Allister has slammed an LGBT news outlet over claims that Prince George is a “gay icon”.
The article, published by online newspaper Pink News, shows a picture of the joyful-looking prince on board a helicopter with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and proclaims the four-year-old “has become a gay icon overnight”.
In a scathing letter to the chief executive of the website [published in full below], Mr Allister expressed his “disgust” at the article, branding it “outrageous and sick”.
The North Antrim MLA called on Pink News to immediately withdraw the “misjudged” article and apologise, adding: “Sexualising a young child in this fashion is entirely inappropriate.”
The controversial story sparked outrage on social media, with many people taking to Twitter to express their anger.
One person wrote: “When people talk of four-year-old Prince George as a ‘gay icon’ you know tolerance has gone way too far.”
Another tweeted: “Distressing. Prince George is creepily described as a gay icon. He’s a young child. Let that sink in.”
In his correspondence to Pink News, Mr Allister said the photograph which prompted the piece “shows a four-year-old boy who is smartly dressed and excited about being on a helicopter with his male father and female mother”.
The News Letter asked Pink News to comment on Mr Allister’s remarks, but to date we have received no response.
Mr Allister described the article as “grossly offensive”, but claimed it has been largely glossed over by the mainstream media.
“While anyone who dares to challenge whatever the latest demand of the LGBT lobby is will be subject to scrutiny this grossly offensive article has passed without comment,” he added.
The TUV leader and barrister said he had intended to refer the article to the Press Standards Organisation, but was unable to do so as Pink News has not signed up to the Editor’s Code of Practice.
He added: “While the PSO is hardly a powerful body nor its Code demanding it nonetheless sets a minimum standard which publications agree to abide by.
“I am interested to know why Pink News have broken with the norm across most of the industry in the UK by not signing up.”
The article was published by Pink News on July 25, bearing the headline ‘People think Prince George looks fabulous in this new photo.’
Describing the photograph of Prince George, the author states: “The image of the prince expressing his happiness in this way led many to declare their support of George for a whole new position: gay icon.
“There are of course those who say that any discussion of the prince’s sexuality is premature, but this isn’t about his sexuality.
“As Madonna, Lady Gaga, the Babadook and yes, even Ariana Grande have shown, you don’t have to be gay or even have a defined sexuality to be an LGBT icon.
FULL TEXT OF JIM ALLISTER LETTER TO PINK NEWS
Dear Mr Cohen,
Re Article by Josh Jackman
I write to express my disgust at an article written by Josh Jackman and carried on the website of your publication dated 25th July 2017.
The highly inappropriate article – People think Prince George looks fabulous in this new photo – describes HRH Prince George as “a gay icon”. In reality the photo which prompted the piece shows a four year old boy who is smartly dressed and excited about being on a helicopter with his male father and female mother.
To take an image of a little boy and to fantasise of him being an icon for a life defined by sex is outrageous and sick.
The reaction to the article on your publication’s own Facebook page alone should tell you that the piece was misjudged to say the least. The vast majority of comments are critical. As one of them observed, “You are using 1970s stereotyping to come up with this nonsense. ... It is ignorant in the extreme to speculate about the sexuality of any child in such a public fashion”.
Sexualising a young child in this fashion is entirely inappropriate. You should immediately withdraw the article and apologise.
I would refer you to the Independent Press Standards Organisation but I note that Pink News isn’t listed among the outlets which have signed up to its Editor’s Code of Practice. I would be obliged if you could advise me as to why this is the case.
Jim Allister QC MLA
“How valid this is will continue to be an ongoing discussion, but this is how many see it.”