Sir Ian McKellen has told off New Zealand Prime Minister John Key for his ‘gay red top’ gaffe.
McKellen, who is currently on a tour of British secondary schools educating students about how to reduce homophobia, posted a message on his blog saying:
‘New Zealand has an undeserved reputation (amongst those who have never visited) as living a little in the past, not quite up-to-date with the world elsewhere. As a regular visitor, I’ve often pointed out how, on social issues, the Kiwis have lead the world – first country to give women the vote, a nuclear-free stronghold and in the vanguard of civil rights for gay people…
Nevertheless, Mr Key should watch his language… Even as he supports the proposal to introduce same-gender marriages in New Zealand, I do hope John Key listens to his critics and appreciates their concern. Careless talk damages lives.’
Key made the flippant comment during a radio interview last week. He later made a half-hearted apology, saying:
‘If someone was offended by it then I apologize but it’s not exactly like a term you don’t hear everywhere.’