Cry me a homophobic-sparked river, Rylan Clark-Neal.

Remember the times where talent shows were entertaining? When you would spend your weekend with family, catching up on the popular TV ‘talent shows’ to see what star would be born today? What talent will leave us wanting more? I’m sure I won’t be the only one to announce that TV ‘talent shows’ are completely dead. Why? Because of people like Rylan Clark-Neal.

If you’re not British or a fan of British television, you probably haven’t heard of Rylan. Sure, you’ve probably had a bunch of people like him. Whiny, talentless, dramatic. The only thing going for that person is the fact people want to see their dramatic personality more despite having no obvious talent whatsoever. That’s what happened with Britain’s X Factor years ago. Rylan auditioned with an average singing capability, got through to the ‘judges house’ round and notably cried over-exaggeratedly when he was successful. The clip is unfortunately still on YouTube here:

Rylan made it quite far in the competition mainly due to his personality and his overly-camp persona. His singing voice wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t worth the continual progression through the show. Eventually – to many people’s delight – Rylan was eliminated from the show and we could take the competition somewhat seriously again. But that wasn’t the end of Rylan’s TV career.

I do not have any interest in doing research into Rylan’s later career, but from memory I know Rylan quickly joined the popular morning show This Morning, where he presented celebrity gossip in the news every day. This was a big hit with older female viewers who enjoyed Rylan’s stumbly, camp personality despite having no sense of talent or journalistic experience. He even landed a deal with the same broadcast company, ITV1, to present a new game show called ‘Babushka‘. I’m not going to go into details of what it is about as it’s just another boring game show and I simply don’t give a shit. The TV show has had mild controversy recently however, and it’s caused Rylan to speak out about it.

The 5:00pm space is a coveted spot in British television and is usually given to game shows that families enjoy together whilst having afternoon dinner. It’s good placement and ratings show it’s a popular time to watch TV amongst populated households. A largely popular game show that has been given that spot for years is The Chase, which I personally enjoy every now and then. They do have break periods for a month or so, where the host Bradley Walsh usually brings in an alternative show for viewers.

However, ITV unexpectedly brought in Babushka to take that slot with Rylan as host. Fair enough. Obviously, some people are wary of enjoying this completely new show that isn’t what they’re used to. There is some backlash and people wondering whether The Chase was axed in favour of Babushka, which is not the case at all (as I explained above). Rylan himself clarified on Twitter and Instagram that the show was not replacing any other shows and is only temporary for now. He got a bit of hate from fans of The Chase who wondered why Rylan was replacing their favoured show. People tweeted out about how they can’t stand Rylan and how they don’t like him at all.

Rylan, being the dramatic queen that he is, pulled the ‘homophobic’ card:

I’m sure Rylan’s personality did spark some hateful comments and they may have been directed towards his sexuality. I agree that’s in bad taste. But to coat all the hate you’ve received on homophobia?! Are you kidding me?

Please let me make this clear – Nobody hates Rylan Clark-Neal because he is gay. Nobody is saying that he should not be on TV because he is a homosexual. The fact is, his personality is what drives people away from shows like X Factor and This Morning. His overly-exaggerated, dramatic style is what ticks people off and causes people to not like him. Just like with other celebrities that have certain traits… not everyone will like them. This is the case with Rylan’s current situation he is dealing with. But nobody should be pulling out the ‘homophobic’ card to deal with a situation where people do not like them. It’s actually insulting to those who have dealt with that cruelty due to their sexuality.

Just a few weeks ago I was researching the Matthew Shepard case from 1998. I won’t write in detail what the whole case covers, but here is a few extracts from the Wikipedia page:

On the night of October 6, 1998, Shepard met Aaron McKinney (22), and Russell Henderson (21), at the Fireside Lounge … and decided to give Shepard a ride home. They subsequently drove the car to a remote, rural area, and proceeded to rob, pistol-whip, and torture Shepard, tie him to a fence, and leave him to die. … It was reported that Shepard was beaten so brutally that his face was completely covered in blood, except where it had been partially washed clean by his tears. … Shepard was pronounced dead six days after the attack … on October 12, 1998, at Poudre Valley Hospital, in Fort Collins, Colorado. He was 21 years old.

Seems like a planned murder, right? That’s absolutely true, and the two were caught and convicted for their crimes. During the trial, it turned out that they used Shepard’s sexuality to their advantage and that Aaron McKinney had homophobic tendancies:

At McKinney’s November 1998 pretrial hearing, Sergeant Rob Debree testified that McKinney had stated in an interview on October 9 that he and Henderson had identified Shepard as a robbery target and pretended to be gay to lure him out to their truck, and that McKinney had attacked Shepard after Shepard put his hand on McKinney’s knee. Detective Ben Fritzen testified that Price [girlfriend of the defendant] stated McKinney told her the violence against Shepard was triggered by how McKinney “[felt] about gays”.

Matthew Shepard died because two thugs used his sexuality against him and took their homophobia too far. Hell, there’s been a bunch of cases where people have been bullied for their homosexuality to the extent where they end their lives. People like Tyler Clementi, Jamey Rodemeyer, and Justin Aaberg. Even without death, people have dealt with homophobia in horrific ways. There are many people who have dealt with true cases of homophobia all over the world. People being bullied for the sole reason that they are gay.

And this is why I’m so annoyed by Rylan’s homophobia claim. He spouts this belief that he is being targeted because he is gay when in fact it’s merely a small factor in the drama. Nobody is spewing their dislike of Rylan on Twitter because of his sexuality, it’s because they don’t enjoy his personality. Because they don’t want to endure him as a person based on his dramatic personality. Because they FUCKING LOVE THE CHASE. It is NOTHING to do with his sexuality at all. Yes, he will get tweets from people who throw insults based on his sexuality, but that is NOT the root of the problem. It is a great insult to those who have truly dealt with life-altering bullying based on their sexuality when someone with such a luxurious lifestyle throws the ‘homophobia’ excuse in a case like this. He is playing the victim and hiding behind his sexuality instead of dealing with it like a normal human being.

I don’t hate Rylan Clark-Neal, and not for one second do I condone homophobic bullying. I’ve been through bullying throughout my life and dealt with it more than I should have. It may not be because of my sexuality, but it was due to who I am as a person. I don’t hate Rylan Clark-Neal, but I don’t care about him either. For someone to accuse public backlash of homophobia is a serious claim, and one that comes from a very weak person.

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