Was Russell Brand’s phrase ‘Harry Potter poofs’ offensive?

Was Russell Brand’s phrase 'Harry Potter poofs' offensive?
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Russell Brand is in the naughty boy’s corner today after he jokingly told raucous members of the Cambridge Union last night to: ‘Shut up, you Harry Potter poofs.’ Naturally, there have been absurd calls for the millionaire revolutionary to apologise for cracking an inoffensive and tame quip

Mr S is delighted to see that the New Statesman is not among those calling for Brand’s straggly-haired head. The folk at the Staggers can usually be relied upon for stern comment after homophobic outbursts, so congratulations to them for resisting the urge to be earnest. Brand, of course, edited a recent issue of the august magazine; perhaps his sense of humour rubbed off on them.

Despite the calls for apologies from some quarters, this story hasn't enraged today's press. One final question occurs to me: if a popular right-wing entertainer had jokingly referred to the Cambridge Union as 'Harry Potter poofs', what would the reaction have been? Answers on a pitchfork, please.

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from London and beyond. Email tips to