Hollyoaks star Adam Woodward and UFC fighter Darren Till have been accused of stoking homophobia after sharing offensive memes and comments about gay and transgender people on Instagram.
An offensive image mocking a ‘pregnant’ transgender woman having a baby scan appeared on Liverpudlian Till’s public account on Monday, with the caption ‘have a good week everyone #positivity’.
It sparked a further barrage of transphobic and homophobic comments and was immediately condemned by local Wirral businessman and active member of Liverpool’s LGBTQ community, Drew Cockton, among other disgusted social media users.
One of the responses was from the account of Hollyoaks actor Woodward, 28, who plays Brody Hudson in the Channel 4 soap, who replied ‘absolutely dead’ using a skull emoji – urban slang to describe how he was laughing so much at the meme he could die.
Woodward, who has starred in the popular soap since 2017, appears to have since deleted his comment and today issued an apology.
Hollyoaks star Adam Woodward (pictured) and UFC fighter Darren Till have been accused of stoking homophobia after sharing offensive memes and comments about gay and transgender people on Instagram
An offensive image which showed a ‘pregnant’ transgender person appeared on Liverpudlian Till’s account on Monday, with the caption ‘have a good week everyone #positivity’
One of the responses was from the account of Hollyoaks actor Woodward, 28, who plays Brody Hudson in the Channel 4 soap, who replied ‘absolutely dead’ using a skull emoji – urban slang to describe how he was laughing so much at the meme he could die
Till, a 28-year-old professional Mixed Marshall Arts fighter, replied to Woodward’s comment with a laughing emoji.
He is a father to three young daughters with an ex-girlfriend in Brazil and currently engaged to a woman known as Cerrone.
In a statement today, Adam told MailOnline: ‘I would like to apologise for engaging with an offensive post on social media. The interaction is not indicative of my beliefs or attitude as an ally of the LGBTQ+ community.
‘I believe in the right of every person to live life being true to themselves without criticism. I will in future be vastly more careful with how my words and emojis can be interpreted and the impact it can have on vulnerable communities that require support.
Actor and model Woodward has been in Hollyoaks since July 2017 and won a gong at the British Soap Awards two years ago for best dramatic performance.
He recently featured in a video montage Hollyoaks created to ‘celebrate difference’, with the key message ‘we are all human’.
Darren Till, pictured during a UFC photo session in July 2020, is a father to three young daughters with an ex-girlfriend in Brazil and currently engaged to a woman known as Cerrone
Drew, founder of luxury brand OwenDrewcandles.com, which won the backing of Dragon’s Den’s Touker Suleyman, responded to Till’s meme, writing: ‘Transgender people have a hard enough life as it is without being ridiculed by public figures.’
In response he received a string of insults from Till and several of his social media followers, as well as messages joining him in calling them out on their ‘small-minded’ actions.
Speaking to FEMAIL, Drew – who is launching the UK’s first LGBTQ business awards in October – said: ‘Transpeople have a hard enough time in life without public figures inviting ridicule and encouraging hate.
‘More than nine in 10 transgender people have considered suicide and more than two in 10 have attempted it.
‘Some of the comments on Darren’s Instagram were truly appalling and deeply saddened me in light of the homophobic attacks in Liverpool recently and the prejudice encouraged by people who should be ambassadors for the city.’
Drew is far from alone in condemning the post. Instagram user Ms.simmo wrote: ‘@darrentill2 as someone in the public eye you have just outed yourself as an absolute homophobic p****.’
User Impossible_prince2.0 commented: ‘@mrowendrew you can’t have a rational discussion with the people posting comments on here. To start with, jokes are supposed to be funny. This isn’t. Forgetting the subject matter it’s a shot joke [sic], literally. Also, at a time when young LGBT people are being beaten on the streets of #Liverpool, in fear of their lives, you’d think someone with a public following would think twice before unleashing some of the comments here, legitimising putting a target on the back of people in the community.
‘I’ve no doubt @darrentill2 thought the initial joke was funny. Reading the responses it becomes clear that some of the followers have a more sinister and dark and worrying view and he’s unleashed it.
‘When the next poor kids is beaten or worse in Liverpool because of their sexuality or gender…just know that s*** starts with stuff like this.’
Actor and model Woodward has been in Hollyoaks since July 2017 and won a gong at the British Soap Awards two years ago for best dramatic performance. Pictured with co-star Anna Passey who plays Sienna Blake
And Instagrammer @therentlife added: ‘Why are some people so narrow-minded about something that literally doesn’t impact them at all. Further shows why LGBTQ+ people need support and protection. Several people have been beaten and violently attacked during June – Pride month – on the streets of Liverpool, sparking outrage among the majority of the city. On June 22 hundreds of people gathered in the city centre in protest over the homophobic attacks.
‘Ironically, Till’s beloved Liverpool Football Club is flying the flag in support of the LGBTQ community, and is the headline sponsor for the upcoming North West LGBTQ+ Business Awards 2021 (www.LGBTQbusinessawards.com), which are free to enter and the first event of its’ type in the UK.’
Drew added: ‘I believe it is important now more than ever to shine a light on our LGBTQ brothers and sisters in business and celebrate their strength and resilience.
‘It is amazing that Liverpool Football Club is taking a stand and headline sponsoring our awards in October.’