Ann Widdecombe has previously backed gay cure therapy. (Steve Taylor / Echoes Wire / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Ann Widdecombe, the British former lawmaker known for her high-decibel anti-LGBT+ views, drew criticism Sunday (18 October) for saying “families” wouldn’t be interested in watching a same-sex couple dance on Strictly Come Dancing.
Nicola Adams, the lesbian Olympic boxer, joined seasoned professional dancer Katya Jones on the dancefloor Saturday evening (17 October) to become Strictly‘s first same-sex pairing in what was hailed as a huge leap in LGBT+ representation in Britain.
The 73-year-old, who herself appeared on BBC One ballroom show in 2010, rang out in reaction against the landmark moment of television because of course she did.
She told The Sunday Times: “I don’t think it is what viewers of Strictly, especially families, are looking for.
“But that’s up to the audience and the programme.”
‘Society has evolved past the need for asking Ann Widdecombe for her opinions’.
Throughout her decades-long career as a Conservative Party turned Brexit Party politician, Widdecombe has emerged as one of Britain’s most anti-LGBT+ hard-liners.
She has often wielded her megaphone platform to compare the coronavirus to AIDS, brand the acceptance of transgender people “lunacy”, suggest gay people can be “cured” and back businesses who refuse to serve gay customers.
As a result, countless LGBT+ Twitter users took aim at Widdecombe’s comments, with many seeking to stress that the opening episode of the seventeenth season was one of its most-watched launches since 2017.
Ann Widdecombe: “I don’t think it is what viewers of Strictly, especially families, are looking for. But that’s up to the audience and the programme.”
The use of ‘families’ is *such* a homophobic trope, the view that LGBT visibility is somehow harmful. https://t.co/RPKeolGTkm
— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) October 18, 2020
We shouldn’t expect any less from this proven homophobe. And the likes of Strictly and Channel 4 are partly to blame for legitimising her views by giving her platforms as some “national treasure” https://t.co/WdrsvKOByi
— Declan Cashin (@Tweet_Dec) October 18, 2020
good that the sunday times thought to included this horseshit though, I was worried we might not got the much-needed Ann Widdecombe point of view. https://t.co/yxqRjPNe0Y
— Ross McCafferty (@RossMcCaff) October 18, 2020
— Ben Smoke (@bencsmoke) October 18, 2020
Ann Widdecombe, trying to hide her homophobia & bigoted views behind ‘it’s not what families want to see’. In 2020. Because two women are dancing together. Just sad. https://t.co/SbienoqCxu
— UpperGwladysBlue (@UpperGwladysBlu) October 18, 2020
Society has evolved past the need for asking Ann Widdecombe for her opinions just because she’s cooky and was amusingly abstemious in public during the 90s https://t.co/WXiBX0vMXq
— Kylo Ben (@aspirationalbob) October 18, 2020
Nicola Adams seriously doesn’t care what homophobes think.
As Adams takes to the BBC One show’s iconic dancefloor each week, the 37-year-old said she refuses to be stung by homophobic viewers.
“I’m expecting the same sort of thing I got with women’s boxing in the beginning – there will always be some resisters, but once they know you’re here to stay, they get used to it,” she told Radio Times.
“Women dance together all the time in nightclubs. Traditionally I guess men and women would dance together when they were courting, so the older generation have that in their heads.”
She added: “So someone’s going to comment on Twitter? It’s nothing, it won’t faze me at all.
“If they don’t like it, they’re going to have to deal with it or switch to another channel.”