Liam Payne has been accused of misunderstanding the true meaning behind LGBT Pride, after he featured in a new Adidas campaign.
The former One Direction star featured in a newspaper article on Tuesday along with a number of other high profile celebrities who were asked what made them proud ahead of London Pride.
But the article attracted criticism as it focused largely on heterosexual stars including Payne, David Beckham and Pharrell Williams.
In particular, Payne’s comments proved to be particularly contentious, after he said: “I think since I’ve had a little boy, everything changes in life.
I've stared at this for about 15 minutes now. What? What is this? Is this a joke? What the fuck is going on? Are we just a little branding exercise now for the potato one from 1D and other straights of note? Someone, please, lead us out of this abyss! pic.twitter.com/ncgaWXNMnp
— Caspar Salmon (@CasparSalmon) June 25, 2018
I’m all for allies vocalising their support but understand what you’re supporting. It’s not about making your children proud of you. It’s about rights you will never understand. It’s about equality you have. Check your privilege @LiamPayne and please do some research on #Pride. https://t.co/8XDLJaiUmV
— Jackie P (@Jurassic_JP) June 26, 2018
“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 comments sparked a huge response on Twitter – with one user asking if he thinks that the LGBT celebration is ““literally about being proud of things?”
Another wrote: “I’ve stared at this for about 15 minutes now. What? What is this? Is this a joke? What the fuck is going on? Are we just a little branding exercise now for the potato one from 1D and other straights of note? Someone, please, lead us out of this abyss!”
Responding to the controversy, campaign director Fat Tony said: “”The articles that have appeared around people’s involvement in the Prouder campaign are misleading – Prouder is a concept I have developed that adidas are supporting.
“There are a whole host of contributors including prominent LGBT community members. The focus of this activity is to raise funds for the vital work of the Albert Kennedy Trust and as part of that to gain the biggest noise I wanted to include Allies who could take this message of unity and equality to the biggest audience.”
Payne is yet to directly respond to the controversy.