Steve Brookstein, who won the first series of The X Factor in 2004, has “jokingly” claimed on Twitter that he believes 5G technology can give people AIDS.
Brookstein, who’s made more of a name for himself for his often-controversial and offensive Twitter tirades than for his singing success, made the bizarre comment in relation to This Morning presenter Eamonn Holmes bringing up a conspiracy theory that claims there’s a link between coronavirus and 5G.
Eamonn Holmes well done. 5G isn't proven to be 100% safe. We don't know the long term impact of this technology. FACT!! Anyone say they know 5G is 100% safe and will not harm civilisation is a liar. More research is needed.— Steve Brookstein (@stevebrookstein) April 13, 2020
In response to a viewer tweeting ITV criticising the programme for allowing potentially harmful conspiracy theories to be given a platform on national TV, Brookstein replied, “He’s allowed to have that opinion.”
He was then challenged on this by a different user, Michael Goodeve, who said that “people can think what they like” but “if someone with a huge audience is broadcasting their unsubstantiated opinions with nobody to counterbalance it, that’s not OK”.
Sure. And people are allowed to think it’s bullshit.— Michael Goodeve (@MichaelGoodeve) April 13, 2020
Brookstein then suggested that Holmes was giving balance, to which Goodeve replied, “Balance to….unsubstantiated nonsense”.
“And that is fine,” tweeted Brookstein. “Personally, I think 5G gives you AIDS.”
And that is fine. Personally, I think 5G gives you AIDS. 😁— Steve Brookstein (@stevebrookstein) April 13, 2020
When Goodeve pointed out that his ‘joke’ might not be seen as funny by the LGBTQ community, tagging Terrence Higgins Trust, Brookstein shot back, “Who gives a fuck?”
It’s not the first time Brookstein has used HIV in a failed attempt at humour. In 2015, he compared a gaffe made live on air by Olly Murs to a HIV diagnosis.
Murs had accidentally revealed the act who had received the lowest amount of votes that week too early.
Dr Murs, "Sorry you have HIV, actually no, sorry I'm wrong. You haven't. My mistake. Hold on, yes, sorry you have HIV. Sorry." #XFactor— Steve Brookstein (@stevebrookstein) November 15, 2015
Attempting to poke fun at the situation, Brookstein tweeted, “Dr Murs, ‘Sorry you have HIV, actually no, sorry I'm wrong. You haven't. My mistake. Hold on, yes, sorry you have HIV. Sorry’”.
Facing a backlash for the tweet, he said that people who had been offended were “fucking stupid”.