Updated: Friday, 5th June 2020 @ 3:21pm

Thousands join social media crusade to get James Arthur banned from X Factor performance over homophobic rant

Thousands join social media crusade to get James Arthur banned from X Factor performance over homophobic rant

Exclusive by Edward Roberts

James Arthur could be banned from performing on the stage that launched his career if a petition to get him booted off the X Factor is successful this week.

The petition launched only days after MM revealed that Arthur would have been dropped from the Christmas light switch-on in Manchester for using the words ‘you fucking queer’ in a rap and on Twitter.

Manchester city centre spokesman Pat Karney told MM that that such homophobic language would have seen Arthur removed from the event.

And now the social media crusade to stop him performing on Sunday's X Factor results show has garnered the support of thousands on Facebook.

The leader of the protest, Adam Joseph, is hoping that ITV chiefs will follow this lead.

He said: “I completely agree with the comment from Manchester City Council and I think that anybody with a history of hate speech should not be in the public eye.

“It would be a huge victory for the LGBT community if ITV stood up for their viewers.”

The Facebook page titled ‘Drop homophobic James Arthur from the X Factor’ was set up on Sunday after the talent show announced that Arthur would be performing on their next results show.

Within hours thousands had flocked to the page in protest and began using #dropjamesarthur on Twitter.

Joseph, from Brighton, started the group because he feels that despite Arthur’s public apology the artist should not be forgiven.

The 23-year-old said: “We are expected to forgive James because he has apologised?

“The apology has only helped him feel better. The damage is already done.

“It is disgusting that a show as mainstream as the X-Factor would even consider it appropriate to put him back on our screens.”

Arthur was initially hit with a flurry of anger from celebrities and fans that were outraged by his derogatory lyrics aimed at MC Mickey Worthless.

He later apologised but was forced to bow out of Twitter after the backlash intensified.

His camp later reported that he was suffering from acute exhaustion and would be cancelling several planned appearances.

LGBT groups have spoken out about Arthur’s choice of language and have applauded the public’s disapproval, including that of Manchester City Council.

A spokesperson from LGBT Youth North West said: “The position of Manchester City Council sends out a strong message that homophobia will not be tolerated in Manchester.

“This is a bold statement and it is encouraging that this incident hasn’t been hidden behind a guise of artistic pursuits."

The Facebook page is encouraging its army of disgruntled followers to contact ITV, along with the sponsors of the X-Factor, Domino's and TalkTalk.

Many have already started planning demonstrations outside the TalkTalk offices in London if their voice is not heard.

A heated debate has already been stirred on social media over the severity of Arthur’s words and if he should lose his opportunity to play on the show he once won.

Anthony Maxwell has joined the campaign and has emailed ITV bosses pointing out how quickly Chris Fountain was dropped from Coronation Street for his foul-mouthed rap. 

The 32-year-old also notes that as World AIDS Day approaches, it is not a time that James Arthur should be 'allowed' to perform.

 

"Many people online feel very strongly about this, and as I'm sure you'll see, movements will be made to boycott the show and possibly its sponsors should this be allowed to go ahead," he wrote in his letter.

"The truth of the matter is that iTunes is refunding those people who bought his album."

 

Facebook user Peter Neenan said: “I feel strongly that he should not be given a platform on which to perform, like the X-Factor, in the same week that he was disgraced for making homophobic comments.

“If it had been a racist tirade he would not have been booked.”

Others felt that many were over-reacting to the incident and were unnecessarily targeting the 25-year-old artist.

Richard Jones Hamilton said: “I don’t particularly like him, but why the witch hunt?”

To visit the Facebook page click here.

Image courtesy of ITV via YouTube, with thanks.

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