Magazine forced to defend itself over Prince George “gay icon” article

Politician brands feature "highly inappropriate"

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A row has erupted over a magazine story that included references to Prince George becoming a “gay icon”.

The article in PinkNews – headlined “People think Prince George looks fabulous in this new photo” – quoted people on Twitter who’d described him in those terms.

But a politician has slated the feature as being “highly inappropriate” and demanded that the magazine issue an apology.

Jim Allister, leader of Northern Irish party the Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV), said: “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.”

But the magazine’s Chief Executive, Benjamin Cohen, has defended the article, dismissing Allister as “a person with a long history of opposing the rights of LGBT people”.

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Central to PinkNews’s article was a photo of the young prince looking angelic as he stood in the doorway of a helicopter during a royal visit to Hamburg, Germany.

The article stated: “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.”

And to prove that point, the magazine included a number of tweets.

One person said: “Prince George is already a bigger gay icon to me than Boy George.”

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But in an open letter posted online, Allister slammed the magazine’s stance.

“With multiple media outlets clearly obsessed with LGBT issues, I find it amazing that this inconvenient article has been completely ignored,” he started.

“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.

“I would have referred PinkNews to the Press Standards Organisation, but it appears that they have not signed up to the Editor’s Code of Practice.

“I am interested to know why PinkNews have broken with the norm across most of the industry in the UK by not signing up, and have requested an explanation.”

However, Cohen gave the letter short shrift.

“At no point did PinkNews state that Prince George is a ‘gay icon’ – the article merely reported on a large volume of social-media posts saying that he was,” he argued.

“The article also explored what it means to be a gay icon and referenced other ‘gay icons’ such as the pop singer Ariana Grande.

“Mr Allister also appeared to claim that being gay is a ‘life defined by sex’. This is an outrageous statement. I am gay and about to marry my fiancé, something Mr Allister opposes, and I can certainly say that my life is not defined by sex.”