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The Grand Tour’s James May denies comparing LGBTQs to Nazis after ‘oppressive’ Pride bunting tweet: ‘Relax’

"Remember that some terrible things, with which you would not wish to be allied, began with [too much bunting]. World War Two, for example," May said this week

By Jamie Tabberer

Some Progress Pride flags flying above central London, and James May in a promo still from The Grand Tour
James May has feelings about Pride bunting and isn't afraid to express them (Images: X/@MrJamesMay/Amazon Prime Video)

The Grand Tour presenter James May has denied comparing LGBTQ people to Nazis after a heated response to his recent X post calling out Pride bunting.

The TV star sparked backlash after posting a picture of Progress Pride flags soaring above central London yesterday (Thursday 13 June 2024).

In his caption, the former Top Gear star said: “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,” May furthermore added. “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.”

“I haven’t connected Pride to the Nazis” – James May

Replying to an X user who asked, “Are you seriously comparing LGBT people with Nazis?” one May replied, “No, relax.”

When another social media user asked, “Whose bunting are you referring to regarding WWII?” May said, “The Nazis… But I wasn’t comparing the Pride movement to them. I haven’t connected Pride to the Nazis. I’ve connected excessive bunting with disquiet in some people’s minds.”

The 61-year-old also responded to an X user who said: “Respectfully, comparing the LGBT community to Nazis is very offensive. Very disappointed, James.”

“I haven’t done that, though, have I?” responded the star, whose TV credits also include James May: Oh Cook! and James May: Our Man in…

Said another X user: “I dont think it’s the lgbtq community who are doing this. saying ‘you’ to me implies that the lgbtq community are the ones putting up all of the flags, however large corporations and councils are utilising pride and the pride flag as a way to gain traction and monopolise on pride [sic].”

To this, May replied: “I think there’s a lot of that, yes.”

Addressing the backlash in a fresh X post today, May said: “I’ve had an illuminating 24 hours reading the responses to my ‘bunting’ post. Now hear this. 1) I’m not suggesting that the Pride movement has anything in common with the Nazis. 2) My post is not intended for use as a community launch pad for sorties [sic] into lazy homophobia. 3) Yes, plenty of other events (royal ones, for example) also transgress the TMB ruling. 4) People should read through their posts before submission. This won’t work as a platform for ‘citizen journalism’ if half of it is incomprehensible bollocks. That is all. Carry on. Peace ‘n’ love, everyone.”