The world-renowned motor racing legend Sir Stirling Moss is embroiled in a homophobia row after telling a newspaper that he doesn’t want a “poofter” to play him in a film.
Sir Stirling Moss was criticised by gay rights campaigners who described his comments as “offensive” and “homophobic”.
The 83-year-old former Formula One driver made the comments during an interview at the Motor Sport Hall Of Fame in London. He was responding to the news that Australian actor Chris Hemsworth would play racing icon James Hunt in a biopic.
According to the Daily Mirror, Sir Stirling said: “I hope the actor would be masculine – not a poofter or anything like that. Perhaps the guy from Skyfall.”
Last night the row deepened after Moss, who some say was the greatest driver never to win the World Championship, defended his comments, telling the Daily Mirror: “I think it would be difficult for someone of the other persuasion, who is homosexual, to take on the part, as I have spent my life driving cars and chasing girls.
"I’m sorry I’ve caused offence, but I’m disappointed anyone could be so narrow-minded as to take offence. It was not meant to cause any.”
He also told the paper: “I have homosexual friends. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s the way things are nowadays.”
In response to Sir Stirling's comments Stonewall's Ben Summerskill said: ‘Rugby players like Gareth Thomas, boxers like Orlando Cruz, and any of the brave gay people currently serving their country in Afghanistan might be a little better qualified to comment on masculinity than the accomplished car driver Sir Stirling Moss.’