Take That star Howard Donald banned from Pride festival after liking anti-LGBTQ+ tweets

Singer’s facing backlash after his ‘like’ history was highlighted on social media

Jacob Stolworthy
Sunday 18 June 2023 12:07 BST
Greatest Days trailer

Take That star Howard Donald is facing a huge backlash after liking a string of controversial tweets, some of which were homophobic and transphobic.

The singer issued an apology after being caught supporting offensive posts, which has seen him barred from a Pride concert he was due to play in Nottingham next month.

Donald, who has since unliked the posts and deleted his Twitter account, appeared to like an image advertising a Disney concert held for Pride that was posted alongside the caption: “Defund Disney.”

The singer also appeared to like a post reading: “Only women have periods! Men cannot menstruate. Transgender ‘women’ cannot menstruate.”

His actions were highlighted by transgender TV star India Willoughby, who shared a screenshot of the posts he liked on Twitter.

She wrote: “Deeply disappointing to see Take That’s Howard Donald liking transphobic and homophobic tweets – while playing Pride festivals. The LGBT community made that band. And no, being homophobic or transphobic is not just ‘a different opinion.’”

Donald has since released a statement on Instagram calling his actions “a huge error”. The Independent has contacted Donald for additional comment.

Other tweets featured in Donald’s “like” history include one from a Twitter account named @EndWokeness, which shared a video of Insecure actor Issa Rae saying she is rooting for “everybody Black” at an awards ceremony.

The caption Donald liked read: “If a white celebrity said this, she would be unemployed within hours.”

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Donald also liked posts from controversial figures including Andrew Tate and Lawrence Fox, as well as tweets spreading Covid and anti-vax conspiracy theories.

Howard Donald
Howard Donald (Getty Images)

Nottingham Pride festival released their own statement after many urged organisers to take action.

After an investigation into the matter, festival bosses wrote: “In light of recent events, Howard Donald will no longer be playing at our Nottingham Pride Festival on Saturday 29th July at Binks Yard.”

Donald joined British band Take That in 1988. He performed alongside bandmates Gary Barlow and Mark Owen at the London premiere of new film Greatest Days, which is in cinemas now.

The jukebox musical film, which The Independent called “nicely generic”, follows fans of a fictional boyband who reunite after 25 years. it is based on a stage musical of the same name.

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