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James Arthur’s Twitter feed taken over by management, following homophobia row

By | Published on Tuesday 19 November 2013

James Arthur

Former ‘X-Factor’ contestant James Arthur has handed over control of his Twitter feed to his management, following a row over homophobic lyrics in a track he recently posted on SoundCloud.

There was much uproar online after Arthur posted the impromptu work, a response to an earlier diss track by rapper Micky Worthless, which called Worthless a “fucking queer”. Other lyrics also referred to the rapper as “Talibani” and suggested he shoot himself, but those lines got less attention.

Under pressure to respond to increasing anger about the track, Arthur eventually tweeted after comedian Matt Lucas sent him a message on the social network directly.

The singer defended himself, pointing out that Worthless, in his original track, had suggested that Arthur’s success had been down to him having sex with Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and Gary Barlow. The rapper also called the ‘X’ star a “faggot”. Worthless’s lyrics, Arthur added, were “homophobic slurs”, though his response was not in any way homophobic, and anyone who thought it was had simply misunderstood.

Arthur wrote: “Some of the things said in [my] rap can be mistaken for homophobic slurs and I assure you homophobia is something I do not believe in. I have many many gay friends. In rap feuds/rap disses the words I used have a different intent. This is a straight man I was attacking a straight man, who littered his track with severe homophobic slurs towards me”.

He later added: “[I] would just like to make it completely clear that it was not meant in anyway as a reference to homosexuality. I realise where the term has come from in meaning but used in the context of the rap battles I have grown up with it has come to mean something completely different. That said, I understand why it could cause offence and that definitely wasn’t my intention”.

The complete line, should you be wondering, was: “You probably want to put your stinky dick in me, you fucking queer”. But you shouldn’t go around thinking that there’s any underlying homophobic intent in there.

Despite completely clearing this matter up and getting Matt Lucas back on side, others still felt that Arthur’s explanation didn’t stand up. In particular another comedian, Frankie Boyle, who engaged Arthur in a lengthy argument.

The end result was that Arthur decided it would be best to remove himself from Twitter, tweeting the parting note: “Love to my fans but I’m coming off Twitter for good. HQ will be doing all my tweets from now on”.

Interestingly, many tweets posted by “JAHQ” do seem to be written in a similar voice to Arthur’s own, but I’m sure it’s not just him tweeting in the third person and hoping no one notices.