Queer, British comic, Joe Lycett, has blasted former soccer player David Beckham for his support of Qatar.
Beckham was previously lauded for his LGBTQ allyship. However, he controversially agreed to be an ambassador for Qatar for the forthcoming World Cup. His fee is unknown but is rumored to be in the region of $12million.
Qatar has a poor human rights record. It is also one of the most unfriendly places in the world for LGBTQ people. Homosexuality is punishable by prison sentences, or even death for Muslims.
Yesterday, Lycett posted a video to his social media challenging Beckham to cancel his ambassador role.
— Joe Lycett (@joelycett) November 13, 2022
Lycett notes Beckham’s previous history as a gay ally (“You married a Spice Girl, which is the gayest thing a human being could do.”)
“You’ve always talked about football being a force for good,” notes Lycett. “With that in mind, I’m giving you a choice. If you end your relationship with Qatar, I’ll donate this ten grand [approximately $12,000] of my own money, that’s a grand for every million you’re reportedly getting, to charities that support queer people in football,” he said.
“However, if you do not, at midday next Sunday, I will throw this money into a shredder just before the opening ceremony of the World Cup, and stream it live on a website I’ve registered called BendersLikeBeckham.com.
“Not just the money, but also your status as a gay icon will be shredded.”
Lycett is known for his awareness-raising stunts
Lycett has previously identified as bisexual and pansexual. He is known for having a political edge to his comedy and has often taken on giant corporations.
In 2020, he highlighted Hugo Boss targeting small businesses with the word “Boss’ in their name. He said the fashion and perfume brand unleashed expensive lawyers on small businesses, including a small beer maker in Wales called ‘Boss Brewing’. Lycett highlighted the issues by legally changing his name to Hugo Boss for a few weeks.
Earlier this year, he made headlines when he was invited to take part in a BBC program and pretended to be rightwing, heaping praise upon beleaguered, short-lived praise on Liz Truss. Lycett’s mock praise for her only added to the ridicule she faced so soon after assuming office.
It’s hard to believe Lycett would actually shred £10,000 pounds. The money could go to good causes. Many on Twitter pleaded with him to donate the money to a charity, regardless of Beckham’s reaction.
However, just threatening to shred the money has made headlines in the UK. It also puts David Beckham in an awkward position in the days leading up to the World Cup.
Whatever happens, lots of people will be watching next Sunday to see what Lycett does with his cash.
Dua Lipa says she won’t be in Qatar
In other FIFA World Cup-related news, the singer Dua Lipa confirmed she will not be performing at the event.
Lipa shared a statement on Instagram, writing: “There is currently a lot of speculation that I will be performing at the opening ceremony of the world cup in Qatar. I will not be performing and nor have I ever been involved in any negotiation to perform.
“I will be cheering England on from afar and I look forward to visiting Qatar when it has fulfilled all the human rights pledges it made when it won the right to host the World Cup.”
At the moment, getting stars to appear at the opening ceremony seems to be almost as tricky as booking acts for Trump’s inauguration back in 2017.