James May blasts claims he 'compared LGBT to Nazis' after damning verdict on 'oppressive' Pride flag rollout

James May

James May has defended himself against claims he compared the Pride flag to that of the Nazis

GETTY/PA
Alex Davies

By Alex Davies


Published: 13/06/2024

- 13:16

Updated: 13/06/2024

- 17:16

The Grand Tour star feared the rollout of Pride flags could be seen as "authoritarian" and "oppressive"

Former Top Gear star James May has found himself at the centre of a fierce debate on social media today after sharing his thoughts on the rollout of Pride flags at one of London's most famous streets.

June marks LGBT Pride Month, a 30-day period dedicated to celebrating and commemorating lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender pride across the country.


To mark the occasion, dozens of Pride flags have been installed on Regent Street in Central London.

May shared a photo of said Pride flags hanging above the road - although it isn't clear if the snap was taken during this year's celebrations - to share his thoughts on vast number of brightly-coloured banners.

The 61-year-old penned on X alongside a photo of the flags: "Pride: while I have observed and admired what you have achieved over my lifetime, may I respectfully suggest that you are borderline guilty of Too Much Bunting (TMB).

"It may be seen as authoritarian, and therefore oppressive. Please remember that some terrible things, with which you would not wish to be allied, began with TMB. World War Two, for example. Nice flag, though."

Before long, May found himself inundated with furious reactions from X users, with many taking issue with his reference to the Second World War.

"Are you seriously comparing LGBT people with Nazis?" one person was quick to question, to which May bluntly hit back: "No. Relax."

May had to continue distancing himself from the comparisons from another fan who said they were "very disappointed" by his take on the rollout.

"Respectfully, comparing the LGBT community to Nazis is very offensive. Very disappointed, James... You're suggesting that display is akin to those of the Nazis, and that it might lead to similar consequences," they typed across two posts.

James May (right)

James May (right) is best known for his work alongside Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear and The Grand Tour

PA

May stood firm, defending his original point by replying: "I haven’t done that, though, have I?

"I’m not suggesting anything of the sort. I’m saying that the essential message may end up being misconstrued."

A third irked follower decided to ask May outright: "Who's bunting are you referring to regarding WW2?"

"The Nazis’," May admitted before clarifying: "But I wasn’t comparing the Pride movement to them."

And another similarly questioned: "I hope you’re not insinuating that somehow the LGBTQ+ community is somehow in danger of starting WW3 because of some rainbow flags James?"

"I’m not, no. Stand down," May urged.

May did find common ground with some following his initial stance, however, after one fan argued: "TMB is a decision made by councils and corporations. While the show of support is always appreciated, these flags will be binned in two weeks and forgotten about until next year. Unlike the struggles the LGBT+ Community face globally, which is constant."

May agreed with the user, writing back: "Apparently, ‘likes’ are private now, so I want you to know that was me." (sic)

This isn't the first time in recent days that May has caused a stir with his social media antics.

This past weekend, May sparked fury by asking his followers on Instagram to create an advert for his gin company free of charge, although he is offering prizes as reimbursement for their efforts.

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