John Legend on the Grammys boycott, gun control and becoming an EGOT

John Legend on the Grammys boycott, gun control and becoming an EGOT

John Legend on the Parkland survivors: "This is really a tribute to their activism". On Tuesday night, John Legend headlined a Motown tribute concert, celebrating the record label’s 60th anniversary.

Alongside Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder, the star performed a selection of Marvin Gaye hits, including the timeless, socially-conscious soul anthem What’s Going On?

"I’ve always been inspired by Marvin Gaye," says Legend, on the phone from his home in LA the following morning.

"He showed us that activism can be part of your art; and that art can inspire other people’s activism."

It’s a lesson the 40-year-old has applied throughout his career, most notably on the 2010 album, Wake Up, which resurrected and reframed protest songs from the 60s and 70s for a modern audience.

Today, he releases a protest song of his own, Preach, that was inspired by the onslaught of negative news coming out of America – gun violence, bigotry, child separation, police brutality.

" Get home every evening and history’s repeating ," he sings, over minor-key organ chords. " Turning off my phone cause it’s hurting my chest ." Warning: Third party content may contain adverts

Report

"It’s stressful to read the news sometimes," says the singer. "Sometimes we can get so frustrated and throw up our hands, and it’s important that we realise we can actually do something."

The song’s chorus – " I can’t sit and hope / I can’t just sit and pray " – is directly targeted at US politicians, and their reluctance to tackle the country’s gun laws.

"Every time there’s a gun massacre in America, which is way too often, politicians come out and say, ‘We send our hopes and prayers to the victims and their families’ and then they don’t do anything about it," he says.

"So the song is basically a rebuke of the people in power. ‘Change can happen’

"If you look at any polls, there’s only a small minority that are against background checks, a small minority that are against other regulations. We’re looking at 80 or 90% approval on a lot of these provisions. So it really is the politicians who are lagging behind the people."

"But then, that gets to the whole problem with our system, that moneyed interests and lobbyists and corporations carry more weight with politicians than the people do, too often, and we need to change that too."

In the song’s refrain, Legend sings, " I try to do the things / I say that I believe / I can’t just preach, baby, preach "; and the star says he was "directly inspired" by the survivors of Parkland school shooting a year ago – especially Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg, who have campaigned for background checks and vociferously challenged America’s powerful gun lobby .

"This is really a tribute to their activism," says Legend, who accepts that Preach won’t move the dial on the issue of gun ownership.

"I don’t know that a song would ever convince someone to change sides," he admits, but stresses the importance of "using my career to fight for justice".

"It’s a tough time but I’m also optimistic we can make change happen. I’ve been a part of that before and I think it’s possible for us to do it again." The star is one of just 15 people to become an EGOT – winner of an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award The star’s own activism has focused on prison reform. He’s played a part in establishing two charities – FreeAmerica and Unlocked Futures – which support former prison inmates; and campaigned for Florida’s Amendment 4, which restored voting rights to former felons (Legend’s own mother was jailed several times during his childhood for drug-related problems).

Along with his wife, Chrissy Teigen, he donated $288,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in honour of Donald Trump’s 72nd birthday last June. And he’s also contributed to films such as 12 Years A Slave and Selma, which document the turbulent history of black America.

His parallel careers in film, music and TV work have helped the star become an EGOT – one of only 15 people who’ve won a competitive Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award.

"Did I get a laminated card? No!" he laughs. "A few of my friends jokingly sent me little trophies; but there’s no official EGOT Academy or anything." The star has been married to "Mayor of Twitter" Chrissy Teigen since 2013 Unusually, the star skipped Sunday’s Grammys ceremony in LA – although not because of any dispute with the Recording Academy ("John got an EGOT and egot lazy," his wife tweeted) .

So what does he make of artists like Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Z and Kanye West deciding to boycott the ceremony?

"Historically, the Academy’s had a problem with hip-hop [so] I understand the impulse to withdraw and not participate and say, ‘this is all bullshit’ but of course that doesn’t fix the problem," he says.

"I would love for the solution to be that we, as younger artists, as artists in the hip-hop community, got more involved and make up a larger bloc of the votes, so the music we make gets its proper dues.

"But I also understand the reactions of people that say, you know, ‘screw it, I don’t want to show up.’

"It’s a conundrum."

Sunday’s awards saw Childish Gambino win song of the year and record for the year for This Is America – the first time a rap song has won either category.

"Honestly, I was surprised," says Legend. "I didn’t think that was going to happen. But I was happy at the same time. I think that’s a big deal."

"Maybe it will encourage more artists to say, ‘maybe the Grammys aren’t so bad after all’ and actually get involved." Follow us on Facebook , on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts , or on Instagram at bbcnewsents . If you have a story suggestion email . More on John Legend More on John Legend

BBC Music homepage

BBC Music News LIVE

BP: Plastic ban “could have unintended consequences”

BP: Plastic ban "could have unintended consequences"

There are many interesting news nuggets in BP’s annual Energy Outlook that’s just been published.

The document says that even as renewable energy becomes the world’s major power source by 2040, demand for oil will stay strong over the next two decades.

But perhaps the most intriguing suggestion in the report is the idea that cutting back on plastic use could backfire and make matters worse. The small town with a dirty secret

Irish government in single-use plastic ban

Supermarket swaps plastic for vouchers

You might think, a little cynically perhaps, that this is the kind of thing you would expect BP to say.

After all, as one of the world’s biggest oil companies, it makes a lot of money from selling the main ingredient in plastic.

But let’s look at the thinking behind BP’s argument.

If the current global revulsion about the incessant use of plastic continues, BP speculates that there could be a worldwide ban on single-use plastics by 2040.

These throwaway items, such as coffee stirrers, water bottles and bags, account for over a third of all plastic material produced in 2017. BP Thunder Horse platform in the Gulf of Mexico If the world shifts to use paper, glass and other materials, BP says this will limit demand for oil in the coming decades.

But the document argues that swapping plastic for other materials will have a bigger cost in terms of energy and carbon emissions.

"If you swap a plastic bottle for a glass bottle, that takes about 80% more energy. That will be more energy, more carbon emissions," said BP’s chief economist Spencer Dale, speaking on the BBC.

"That bottle is a lot heavier so it takes an awful lot more energy to transport it around," he added.

"Yes, we should be concerned about plastics, but before we start whacking that mole, we should worry about where it pops up somewhere else." The diesel experience

That all sounds like the law of unintended consequences in action.

One of the best examples of this economic law has happened in the UK over the past 20 years with diesel cars.

In the 1990s, diesels accounted for just 10% of the car fleet. By 2012, this had expanded to 50% as the government encouraged motorists to switch to the fuel to cut CO2 emissions.

This succeeded in cutting carbon but at a huge price. Diesels produced 15% less CO2 than petrol cars but four times more nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and 22 times more particulates, leading to a rapid uptick in air pollution that the government is still trying to get to grips with. Paper, plastic, cotton

So would the same law come into play if plastics were banned, as BP maintains?

Certainly, there is some solid evidence that simply swapping plastics for other materials would have negative knock-on impacts.

When plastic bags are measured against paper or cotton substitutes, a BBC analysis found there wasn’t a great deal of difference in their overall environmental impact.

Paper bags require marginally fewer reuses than "bags for life" to make them more environmentally friendly than single-use plastic bags.

On the other hand, paper bags are less durable than other types of bags, which means customers have to replace them more frequently. Glass bottles are often recycled more than plastic Last November, researchers at Heriot-Watt University published a study showing that an outright ban on plastics could cause significant damage to the environment.

"Banning or reducing their use would have a massive impact on the way we live," explained Prof David Buckland, who led the study.

"For instance, replacing plastics with alternative materials such as glass and metals would cost more to manufacture due to the energy consumed and resources – including water – required to process them," he said.

"Furthermore, because plastics are lightweight, transportation of consumer goods in plastic packaging means fewer vehicles are required for transportation of those goods, therefore burning less fuel and greatly reducing greenhouse gas emissions." Counter argument

Campaigners though are not entirely convinced, and think that BP is stressing the downside of banning plastic because it is in the company’s self interest.

"Fossil fuel giants will make countless billions in the future if the production of single-use plastic continues at current rates," said Louise Edge, from Greenpeace UK.

"So it’s no wonder they are keen for the world to keep using more and more of it.

"While it’s true that it takes less energy to produce and transport plastic than glass, a glass bottle can be reused dozens of times and is infinitely recyclable, unlike plastic. Plus, materials like glass when they escape collection don’t go on polluting our oceans and rivers for hundreds of years." Plastic ‘alternatives’

BP says that its future scenario doesn’t include the widespread deployment of efficient collection and re-use systems that could reduce the amount of extra emissions required for substitute products.

Steps to encourage recycling are already underway. The UK, for example, will introduce a new tax on the manufacture and import of plastic packaging that contains less than 30% recycled material, to come into effect in 2022.

There are also loads of developments taking place with alternative materials.

Danish company Arla is already introducing wood-based bioplastic cartons for milk that can be recycled just liked cardboard.

And there’s the promise of carbon taxes as governments look at ways of reducing emissions.

These could make plastics more expensive and also ensure that the alternatives don’t make the climate situation worse. This may be the ultimate defence against the unintended consequences of plastic bans.

Working Links: Privatised Probation Services Slammed As Major Firm Collapses Into Administration

Working Links: Privatised Probation Services Slammed As Major Firm Collapses Into Administration

William Barton via Getty Images A private company which manages thousands of offenders in England and Wales after they are released from prison has collapsed into administration.

Working Links, a company that owns three community rehabilitation businesses which deliver probation services in Wales, Avon and Somerset and Cornwall, went bust on Thursday night.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said they had been aware of the company’s financial situation since October, and said it had put in place contingency plans to ensure “offenders will be supervised and the public will be protected”.

The union representing probation officers in the UK has reacted with anger to the news.

Ian Lawrence, general secretary of Napo, said: “This is exactly what we warned the government about from day one of this disastrous privatisation programme that has seen an award-winning service fall into total chaos in just four years.”

Chris Grayling was responsible for privatising the care of low-to-medium risk offenders four years ago as part of his reforms when he was minister for justice.

The MoJ said Working Links services would be handed over to Seetec, who manage community rehabilitation centres in Kent, Surrey and Sussex for the time being.

They also said they would bring forward plans to bring probation services in Wales back under government control.

Seetec confirmed they would transfer all of Working Links staff to their books.

The company’s executive director, Suki Binning, said: “It has been a challenging and uncertain period for probation teams in these regions, during which they have worked tirelessly to support the people they manage and protect the public.”

Lawrence slammed the government’s handling of the situation, adding: “Napo has continually pleaded with ministers to terminate the contracts between the MoJ and Working Links following highly critical reports from HM Inspectorate of Probation and a litany of high profile Serious Further Offences including a number of murders.”

Richard Burgon MP, Labour’s shadow justice secretary said Labour was fully committed to restoring the probation service to public ownership.

“Our probation system is clearly broken. This is yet another public service severely damaged by Chris Grayling and the Conservatives’ obsession with privatisation.

“We need a probation system that prioritises keeping the public safe rather than boosting the profits of private companies.”

Football Is Nothing With Fans – They Deserve A Seat At The Table In The Fight For Fair Train Fares

Football Is Nothing With Fans – They Deserve A Seat At The Table In The Fight For Fair Train Fares

Football supporters frequently miss out on the cheapest train tickets to watch their teams play, owing to last-minute fixture changes.

For the last two years, I have been speaking to fans, the Rail Delivery Group, the Premier League and the English Football League with the aim to establish a new Fans’ Fare Scheme seeking greater flexibility for football supporters. Often, matches are rescheduled, owing to TV or fixture clashes. This means pre-purchased tickets cannot be changed or in some cases, fans cannot travel at all.

Fans regularly get a raw deal when travelling away. For example, Newcastle fans often pay the most, because almost all of their games require a southbound journey via the notorious East Coast Mainline. This season alone, from Newcastle’s first five away games, they would have had to spend a minimum of £540 each on train tickets. Imagine then having to buy new train tickets as a result of the match being rescheduled for television.

In January, during Transport Questions, I called on the Department for Transport to include fans from all leagues in upcoming discussions on the proposed Fans’ Fare scheme. I was offered a meeting with the transport minister, which was then cancelled. This came as no surprise, given the number of trains that are cancelled each day.

This week, the Department for Transport gave the green light to our proposals to implement a Fans’ Fare scheme. The Government is finally listening to our proposals, but they must ensure that fans are part of the conversation.

The government’s approach however, has caused quite a stir, with the Football Supporters’ Federation and the English Football League – both of whom back the proposals – being excluded from the discussions. Instead, only the Premier League, British Transport Police and the Rail Delivery Group will be involved.

I am already hearing from fans regarding their concerns that the Department for Transport has left them out of these upcoming discussions – we believe supporters must be at the heart of the decision-making process. Without fans, football is nothing.

The Department for Transport have scored an own goal by refusing to include fan representatives. Premier League supporters often find fixtures rearranged for television, and with 400,000 fans travelling to matches in the English Football League each week, we believe they should be represented.

Later this month, I will be meeting with the transport minister, providing the meeting is not cancelled again at the last minute. Here, I will be demanding that fans’ groups and the English Football League should have a seat around the table for upcoming discussion on the implementation of the scheme – supporters must be at the heart of any discussion regarding their needs.

Quite frankly, there cannot be a half-baked approach to policies affecting supporters. Fans live with train nightmares each and every week – if the Government does not learn from supporters’ experiences, nothing will be achieved.

Dr Rosena Allin-Khan is the Labour MP for Tooting How My Sunday League Football Family Keep Each Other Afloat

The World’s First Green Football Club

Why Watching Football Could Be Good For Your Mental Wellbeing

Bad News For Weekend Travellers As Major Railway Line Set To Close For Nine Days

Bad News For Weekend Travellers As Major Railway Line Set To Close For Nine Days

One of Britain’s busiest railway lines will be closed for nine days from Saturday, causing major disruption to passengers.

No trains will operate on the southern end of the Brighton Main Line (BML) until February 25 to enable Network Rail to carry out work as part of a £67m upgrade.

The BML is normally used by 300,000 people each day and connects the south coast with London on Southern and Thameslink trains.

John Halsall, Network Rail’s managing director for the south east route, said: “This work is absolutely critical as this stretch is one of the most unreliable parts of the network, accounting for half the delays to trains arriving from the south into central London.

“We know it’s never a good time to close the railway, but the only alternative would have been to close the line for 84 weekends over the course of two years.

“Doing the work over this nine-day period means we can achieve so much more and deliver the punctuality and reliability benefits to passengers much sooner, plus the railway is much quieter during the school holidays.”

Halsall said the route will be working with Govia Thameslink Railway, “making every effort to enable those passengers who need to travel during this period to do so comfortably”.

The Three Bridges to Brighton and Three Bridges to Lewes services will be affected by the closure.

Network Rail warned journeys will be “significantly longer” and trains will be “much busier than usual”.

Services to and from Brighton will be diverted along the coast via Littlehampton, adding an hour to journeys.

A replacement bus and coach service will be in operation, with more than 240 vehicles transporting passengers every day.

Derby County supporters will be among those disrupted when they travel to watch their team’s FA Cup fifth round match against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.

Research by watchdog Transport Focus indicated that 52% of passengers support the work and 47% are satisfied with the information provided.

More than three-in-four (76%) will take action such as work from home, take annual leave or avoid peak travel times.

Network Rail claimed reliability on the BML would deteriorate if it did not carry out the work.

The closure is timed to coincide with half term as fewer passengers use the railway during school holidays.

Network Rail will renew and upgrade track junctions and signalling, shore up embankments and install technology to detect potential problems before they occur and help the services recover faster when there is a fault.

Extensive work will also be carried out within four Victorian tunnels to stop leaks and drainage issues which cause major delays.

The BML will also be closed during several additional weekends until May.

Rail fares increased by 3.1% on average this year despite punctuality falling to a 13-year low after a number of major issues disrupted Britain’s railway service in 2018.

Some 14% of trains were late last year, with several franchises recording even worse performances.

Rugby star James Haskell says players shouldn’t have to come out as gay

Rugby star James Haskell says players shouldn't have to come out as gay

James Haskell | Photo: Instagram/Jamal Ford-Robinson

A star rugby player has thrown his support behind the LGBTI community becoming more involved in the sport.

James Haskell made the comments at a training session at the LGBTI club, the Northhampton Outlaws RFC.

Northampton Saints and England player, Haskell, said it was shameful that people still had to ‘come out’.

‘My view on sexuality is it’s a shame that it’s something people still have to announce or deal with, but obviously we do, and it’s like that because a lot of people aren’t informed as they should be,’ he told Rugby Pass.

‘I think there’s a multitude of religions that make sexuality a very uncomfortable thing which is a shame – I never came out as straight so I don’t see why other people should have to put their hand up and say “I’m gay or I’m this or I’m that” but we live in this world.

‘I can’t imagine what it’s like to be struggling to actually be yourself, to live a life where you’re not able to be yourself and to come to a team like the Outlaws where you’re not judged, you’re accepted, it’s essential.’ LGBTI clubs need to exist

Haskell went on to say that it was great LGBTI clubs like the Outlaws existed.

‘We all have our struggles and sexuality for a lot of people is a massive struggle – having teams like this where you know you can get involved is massively important,’ he said.

‘Long may it continue but hopefully one day we’ll reach a stage where sexuality is not a thing, hopefully rugby will keep being a pioneer in this area.’

It was not the first time Haskell has spoken out on LGBTI rights.

In 2013, he supported gay rugby player, Gareth Thomas’ calls for LGBTI athletes to feel safe no matter where in the world they are competing.

At the time he said he ‘feels bad’ anyone should have to conceal their sexuality.

‘Statistically there must be gay rugby players out there,’ Haskell said.

WATCH: This video of a Polish school’s LGBTI prom is bringing us to tears

WATCH: This video of a Polish school's LGBTI prom is bringing us to tears

Poland just had its first LGBTI-inclusive prom and it was damn adorable.

In a video posted earlier this week, it showed Polish pupils preparing for their prom.

The Bednarska High School in Warsaw held a ‘Equality Prom Dance’ to honour senior year LGBTI students.

Over 70% of LGBTI Polish youth have tried or considered suicide.

So to combat this, Bednarska school threw a prom like no other. Prom is special for everyone

Cans of hairspray, ironed shirts and nervous faces make-up the video’s opening minutes.

‘The prom is a very special moment, but not for everyone,’ a voiceover says.

But when the teens got to their prom, they were met by crowds fo cheering friends, family and school faculty members.

A student said: ‘We are dancing the Equality Prom Dance to show our love and support for our gay friends who are constantly having to hide their love.

‘We have had enough of a society who chooses to accept those easily acceptable.’

‘I just wish equality wasn’t something you had to fight for,’ one student said. 70% of LGBTI Polish youth consider suicide

Equality Parada, a Warsaw-based LGBTI advocacy group, organized the prom.

They have held annual Pride parades in the Eastern European nation’s capitol since 2001.

‘70% of LGBTQ youth in Poland have tried or considered suicide,’ Equality Parade told Towleroad .

‘So we cannot overstate the importance of not only holding the prom but the story reaching the rest of the world.’

Poland vetoed inclusion of LGBTI rights in an EU statement last year. See also

A shelter for marginalized LGBTI people has been proposed for the Polish city of Warsaw that would house 250 people and provide free meals and help to find jobs

The song asks Polish people to ‘love us for Christmas it is the right time – when love conquers hate and fear’

The court decision is a rare win for conservative and religious Poland, one of the worst places to be LGBTI in Europe

Trans YouTube star Furry Potato shot and wounded outside Los Angeles synagogue

Trans YouTube star Furry Potato shot and wounded outside Los Angeles synagogue

Trans YouTuber Furry Potato was shot in the leg in Los Angeles yesterday (14 February).

The star, real name Zhoie Perez, filmed outside the Etz Jacob synagogue before a guard ordered her to leave.

Seconds later, Perez shouted: ‘Fucker shot me!’

Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) spokesman Sgt. Barry Montgomery said the guard’s gun ‘suddenly discharged’.

He said: ‘The guard fired the shot from the synagogue property onto the public sidewalk where Perez was standing.

‘It’s possible Perez was struck by a ricochet of a bullet or a fragment of a bullet.’

‘That was a warning shot,’ the guard said in the footage.

”I will shoot you for real.’ Non-life-threatening injuries

According to an LAPD news release Perez was treated for a ‘non-life-threatening’ gunshot wound.

Police later arrested the security guard on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

Above all, Perez live-streamed the incident on two separate videos.

In the footage, Perez roamed outside the synagogue where an armed security guard stood outside.

Following this, the guard advised her not ‘to do anything crazy over here’ before going back inside.

After the shooting, Perez filmed her conversations with pedestrians and police when they arrived.

Describing herself as a ‘1st Amendment auditor,’ Perez often tests the boundaries of freedom of speech.

This often involves videotaping locations with police or security officers. Trans shootings are on the rise

Over 28 trans, non-binary and gender-variant people were murdered in the US in the 12 months from 1 October 2017 to 30 September 2018.

This was an increase from last year’s 25, according to the Transgender Murder Monitoring Project .

Similarly, former Miss Trans America Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien was found murdered in her Massachusetts home last year, See also

Major businesses stop paying for ads with Daily Mail after transphobic articles

Major businesses stop paying for ads with Daily Mail after transphobic articles

Ian Hunter | Photo: Supplied

Major businesses have pulled their advertising with media website Daily Mail after it published a story that incorrectly identified a double child murderer as trans.

Hotel chain, Travelodge, and online survey portal, Survey Monkey both stopped advertising with Daily Mail after the story.

The Daily Star originally reported – and then retracted – that Ian Huntley convicted of murdering two children in 2003 was trans. The Star corrected the story that Hunter wanted to transition genders so he could move to a female prison.

The Daily Mail also published the story but did not change the incorrect the claims that Hunter now identifies as female.

‘The implicit association between murderer Ian Huntley, and the transgender community (specifically trans women) has been extremely damaging – cited by anti-trans groups like FairPlay For Women and Women’s Place UK, as a reason to not extend proposed changes to the GRA, as well as lobbying to remove existing legal rights for trans people as currently provided under the 2010 Equality Act,’ said trans advocate @mimmymum.

‘It was cited in numerous occasions during the GRA consultation, and has generated a barrage of abuse towards trans people.’ Stop Funding Hate

Trans advocates called for the Daily Mail to scrap the story. That’s where online campaign, Stop Funding Hate, stepped in.

Stop Funding Hate is a campaign which aims to make ‘hate unprofitable by persuading advertisers to pull their support from publications that spread hate and division’. It has recently set its sights on media outlets who publish transphobic stories.

Richard Wilson, director, Stop Funding Hate said the past year has seen a flood of toxic media stories targeting trans people

‘But being a consumer gives each of us a voice,’ he told Gay Star News.

‘If enough of us speak out, and urge the companies we shop with to stop advertising with media that fuel hate and misinformation about the trans community, this could help to turn the tide.’

Wilson said the long-term goal was to bring about a healthier and fairer media by making hate unprofitable.

‘We know that one of the reasons newspapers publish toxic and inflammatory stories about trans people and other minority groups is that this can be an effective way of driving “clicks” and boosting advertising revenue,’ he said.

‘But this only works so long as advertisers are prepared to go along with it. And we know that many brands are now beginning to think more carefully about where their advertising money is going.’

The campaign has shown great success in reducing anti-migrant and anti-Muslim headlines in the UK media. Companies respond

Within one day of targeting the Daily Mail, both Survey Monkey and Travelodge pulled their advertising.

‘Our hope is that if enough people now use their power as consumers to challenge UK newspapers over their coverage of trans issues, this could help bring about a similar reduction in anti-trans hate and misinformation within the UK press,’ Wilson said.
Wilson celebrated the two companies’ decision to stop advertising with the Daily Mail.

‘Surveymonkey deserve credit for taking prompt action after discovering that their ad was appearing on this Daily Mail article, which repeats the toxic (and debunked) suggestion that one of the UK’s most notorious murderers is trans,’ he said,

‘The companies we shop with care what their customers think, and our experience has been that many brands will act when these issues are brought to their attention.’ Thank you for bringing this to our attention, we have passed the details onto our marketing team who will ensure that any advertising is excluded from this publication – Ben — Travelodge UK (@TravelodgeUK) February 15, 2019 ‘Many Travelodge customers will be heartened to see that the company has taken action after their ad appeared on a debunked story which has caused such concern within the trans community,’ Wilson said.

‘We hope that other advertisers will take note – and that the Daily Mail will commit to reporting more responsibly on issues that impact on trans people.’

At the time of publication, the Daily Mail has still not removed the story.

Gay Star News has reached out to Travelodge and Survey Monkey for comment.

James Woods was dragged by a dictionary after he posted a transphobic tweet

James Woods was dragged by a dictionary after he posted a transphobic tweet

Hollywood actor and Trump supporter James Woods tweeted a transphobic remark and Twitter came for him earlier this week (11 February).

Woods tweeted how a person cannot use the pronoun ‘they’ as it is ‘plural of either males or females, or both.

‘Please join me in using proper grammar, syntax, and spelling.

‘Don’t be bullied by hare-brained liberals.’ ‘Language chances constantly’

Hundreds of Twitter users piled on Woods. On commented: ‘Language changes constantly.’

Another user said: ‘Wild how transphobia turns everyone into a grammar pedant’.

But the ultimate dunk on Woods’ logic came from Dictionary.com.

It tweeted: ‘They has been in use as a singular pronoun since the 1300s.

‘Among its best known users in history: Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Jane Austen. ‘ ‘Dictionary shade is the best shade’

And Twitter could not get enough of it.

‘The impact this one tweet can have on literally tens of thousands of people is astounding.

‘You always stick up for the LGBTQ+ community and do your part even though no one even expects it of you.

‘THANK YOU SO MUCH.’

‘Dictionary shade is the best shade,’ another said. A brief history of they

In Old English , usage of ‘they’ dipped in 1745.

This followed hundreds of years of its usage in the singular.

Calls for a gender neutral pronoun began again in 1794 after a series of ‘ battle of the sexes ‘ articles appeared.

There is also evidence of ‘ thon ‘ (contract of that one) being proposed as a gender neutral pronoun. See also

‘As a straight man, how do u feel about your child having a homosexual teacher!?’