Twitter storm over rapper Example’s #gaycrisps tweet

I’ve never really liked British singer/rapper Example. I could never really put my finger on why. I remember my younger brother enthusing about his genuinely pretty good 2010 single “Kickstarts”. I also remember thinking that no matter how catchy the song, I just didn’t really like the man.

Photo from The Guardian

Today, however, all of this has changed. Now I know why I don’t like him. Example is currently in Taiwan, where he discovered some Taiwanese Monster Munch, which he didn’t really like, as he told his multiple thousand Twitter followers. This led him to use the hashtag “#gaycrisps”, describing crisps like Skips and Discos. The hashtag quickly shot to the top of the Trending Topics list, where it remained for several hours encouraging others to let the world know what crisps they thought were gay.

Now, there are worse crimes in the world than calling some potato-based snacks gay. Actually, are Skips potato based? I had some for my lunch today and they’re not very potato-ey, are they? I digress. It’s not really gay-bashing, as such, but it seems to be part of that awful “gay=rubbish” thing that is troublingly commonplace. It’s just, well, sort of stupid.

The main point, I would say, is that if you substitute any other minority into that hashtag, it all becomes a bit dodgy.

#jewcrisps? Maybe not.

#disabledcrisps? Yeah that’s probably not okay.

#asylsumseekercrisps? It’s not very catchy, but I think that’s the least of its problems.

Gay is not a synonym for crappy. Encouraging that mindset, on whatever level, is not okay. I’m not going to call for a boycott of his music, or sign a petition, because I don’t think he’s homophobic or bigoted. However, Example needs to seriously reconsider the ways in which what he writes on the Internet can affect people.

Anyway, I’m sure Example will send a sheepishly apologetic follow-up tweet soon enough, and the whole thing will blow over. I just hope he’s learned to think before he tweets.

UPDATE

Example recently tweeted:

So there we have it then.

Words by Roy Ward

4 comments

  1. Carley

    I wonder if the two commenters below have every experienced homophobia? Or whether they’d be so dismissive of a -phobia/-ism that affected them? If they’re Example fans though I think the poor taste in music is punishment enough…

    Great post Roy.

  2. Lu

    Good on you, “Angries”, so you should be angry with Example for perpetuating a “jokey” strain of inherently damaging prejudice. 4 for you.

    Nicely written, Roy.

    This is yet another example (har di har) of the heartbreaking numbers of people happy to diminish an entire kind of person just because it’s in.

    If you can swap a word meaning “shitty” for one that is used by a huge amount of people *to describe themselves*, then you’re being an ass and you need to modify your behaviour. Seriously.

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