Apologize for Offensive Tweets

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Apologize for Offensive Tweets

This petition had 1,591 supporters

Last week Louis Tomlinson tweeted he was "gutted" that Evander Holyfield had been cut from UK’s Celebrity Big Brother. The problem? Only days earlier Holyfield had caused an uproar for making homophobic and ableist comments on the show, saying: “It is a choice, come on, that ain’t the way nobody is made. If you were born and your leg were turned this way, what do you do, you go to the doctor and get it fixed back right." Many One Direction fans were quick to use social media to reach out to Louis and explain why his support for Holyfield was offensive to them. 

Yesterday Louis' bandmate Liam Payne tweeted support for Willie Robertson of the reality tv show Duck Dynasty, saying "@williebosshog huge love to you/your family huge respect for your business prosperities and the family values you still all behold. big fan." Once again, many, many fans immediately pointed out that the Robertson Family has been criticized in the US after Willie's father Phil Robertson made racist and homophobic comments during an interview in GQ last month

To date, neither Louis nor Liam have made any meaningful apology to their fans for their public support of people who have said offensive and dehumanizing things. This is not the One Direction we have grown to love. 

On a personal level, as a queer disabled fan of One Direction, both Louis and Liam's tweets were very hurtful. One Direction has been a source of enormous happiness and comfort for me during a difficult period of my life. I know I am not alone in this. More than the tweets themselves, the lack of meaningful acknowledgment from either of them has tarnished what was a source of joy in my life. Furthermore, they have perpetuated very harmful attitudes that hurt a lot of people—especially with the influence these celebs have with a massive amount of fans who exponentially spread the impact.

We deserve a thoughtful and sincere apology from Louis and Liam for their insensitive and careless remarks, free from justifications and excuses for their tweets.

A meaningful apology would entail apologizing for what Louis and Liam said, and for saying things that hurt people like myself. We cannot accept another celebrity nonapology, an "I'm sorry your feelings were hurt." Louis and Liam's engagement with their fans means that we need to know that they care that they've hurt us. Additionally, we deserve an apology from Liam for being dismissive after fans pointed out that his tweets were harmful and becoming overly defensive and belligerent in the face of our criticism.

Image credits: Evander Holyfield photo credited to Cheryl Jackson | Willie Robertson photo credited to geopungo | Liam Payne photo credited to Fiona McKinlay | Louis Tomlinson photo credited to | All photos have been cropped and remixed.

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