On Friday, Key reportedly called David Beckham “thick as batshit” while addressing a group of high school students and then called radio host Jamie McKay’s shirt “gay.”
“You’re munted mate. You’re never going to make it,” the Prime Minister said. “You’ve got that gay red top on.”
Key claims that he meant “weird” and that he was using it the same way the kids are nowadays. Key also maintained that it is the nature of the Prime Minister to be “light-hearted” and “kid around.”
But Sir Ian McKellan took to his website to read Key on his wording:
Nevertheless, Mr Key should watch his language. I’m currently touring secondary schools in UK, attacking homophobia in the playground and discouraging kids from the careless use of “gay” which might make their gay friends (and teachers) feel less about themselves. So even as he supports the proposal to introduce same-gender marriages in New Zealand, I do hope John Key listens to his critics and appreciates their concern. Careless talk damages lives.
McKellan noted that New Zealand has a history of progressive stances on social issues, such as women’s suffrage and civil rights for LGBT people, though it also has an “undeserved reputation” for “living in the past.”
Photo: Wikipedia / Stefan Servos