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.
Example recently tweeted:
So there we have it then.
Words by Roy Ward
- Summer Storm / Sommersturm Film Review