Cher has apologised for taking a selfie with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during Sydney LGBT Mardi Gras.
The 'Believe' singer headlined the annual celebration of LGBT equality on Saturday (March 3) before posing for a picture with Turnbull - but the image quickly sparked a backlash on social media from those unhappy with Turnbull's decision to hold a postal survey on marriage equality last year.
Turnbull shared the selfie on his Twitter, featuring himself with Cher, wife Lucy and New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
Alongside the snap, Turnbull wrote: "Welcome to Sydney, Cher! @GladysB Lucy and I and all your fans thrilled to be with you at the 40th Mardi Gras & first since Australia achieved marriage equality."
Social media users were quick to slam the photo, claiming that Turbull's decision to put marriage equality up for debate during the postal survey had directed unneccesary pressure and homophobic abuse at LGBT Australians.
Other users called on Cher to renounce the photo she had taken with him.
Cher quickly responded to the controversy, telling follwers that Turnbull had seemed "compassionate" and "proud" of everyone at the parade.
I’m not sure what you mean.— Cher (@cher) March 3, 2018
The Man I Talked To Seemed PROUD OF EVERYONE AT THE PARADE. Am I Missing. Something⁉️
The Man I TALKED Could Be Reasoned With,The Man I Talked TO Believes In Equal Rights for ALL OF HIS PPL.THE MAN I TAKED TO WILL LISTEN &
Responding to a fan tweet slamming Turnbull, Cher wrote: "The man I talked to seemed proud of everyone at the parade. Am I missing something? The man I talked [to] could be reasoned with, the man I talked to believed in equal rights for all of his ppl.
"The man I talked to will listen and hear and be compassionate."
One user wrote replied: "@Cher this photo sets your advocacy backwards. That spineless politician stood in the way of marriage equality and as soon as it passed he started victory lapping with the community as if he'd been an advocate the whole time."
They added: "Girl, you need to harness feisty on that foot."
Another fan called Turnbull a "liar".
They wrote: "He illegally detains refugees/asylum seekers who are PoC in off-shore concentration camps where they are tortured, abused and killed. He speaks only in suport of Trump. He ensured LGBTIQ people were taunted and abused for months last year. Sorry."
After several more messages criticising the Prime Minister, Cher decided to issue an apology.
Responding to a fan, Cher wrote: "Am so sorry. Guess that's why I have few friends who are politicians. He seemed very open and excited about Mardi Gras and LGBT community."
Am so sorry. Guess that’s why I have FEW Friends Who Are Politicians.He Seemed Very Open & excited about MARDI— Cher (@cher) March 4, 2018
GRAS,AND LGBT COMMUNITY.