Social slurs: The celebrities brought down by online homophobia

Friday, 7 December 2018 18:16 GMT

2018 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals - Radio City Music Hall, New York, U.S., August 20, 2018. - Kevin Hart. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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By Isabelle Gerretsen

LONDON, Dec 7 (Openly) - Days after Kevin Hart was named as the host of next year's Oscars, the U.S. comedian has had to pull out in the wake of criticism over past homophobic tweets.

But he is not the first celebrity to be caught out over anti-gay slurs.

Here are three other examples:

- Manny Pacquiao

Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao lost a lucrative Nike sponsorship deal after video emerged online of him saying people in same-sex relationships were "worse than animals".

"Animals are better because they can distinguish male from female," said the eight-times world champion.

"Do you see animals mating with the same sex? If men mate with men and women mate with women they are worse than animals."

After the footage emerged Nike terminated its contract with Pacquiao, describing his remarks as "abhorrent".

- Azealia Banks

In 2016, rapper Azealia Banks was accused of making homophobic and racially charged slurs about One Direction singer Zayn Malik.

In a heated exchange on Twitter, Banks described Malik as "curry-scented" and called him a "faggot", a derogatory term for gay men.

Following the controversy, organisers of British music festival Born & Bred dropped Banks as their headline act, saying that they celebrated "inclusivity and equality".

- Jack Maynard

The British YouTube star Jack Maynard was kicked off reality TV show "I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here" last year after a series of homophobic tweets came to light.

Maynard, who has more than 1.5 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, apologised for tweeting "some pretty disgusting things" after it emerged he called fellow Twitter users "retarded faggots".

"I was young, I was stupid, I was careless, I just wasn't thinking," he said.

(Reporting by Isabelle Gerretsen @izzygerretsen; Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit

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