Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood has been mocked for stating his belief that rainbow bagels “represent the NHS”, with viewers pointing out that rainbows and rainbow bagels are a symbol of Pride and the LGBT+ community.
During last night’s episode of the Channel 4 baking show, the theme of which was “Bread Week”, the contestants were tasked with making rainbow bagels for the technical challenge.
As the bakers set to work at their respective work stations, Hollywood and fellow judge Prue Leith sat down to discuss why the former chose this particular recipe for the third episode of this year’s series.
With a plate of rainbow-patterned bagels in front of them, Hollywood first explained how the bagels are made, before describing what their colours symbolise, in his point of view.
“I think the rainbow colours for me, although it originated over in the States, I think it represents the NHS,” he said.
“Well it does now,” Leith responded, to which Hollywood replied: “It does now, certainly.”
Several Bake Off viewers derided Hollywood for his comment, stressing the connection between rainbows and Pride.
While rainbows have been used as a symbol to represent the NHS throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the LGBT+ Pride rainbow flag, first designed by late American artist Gilbert Baker, has been around since the late 1970s.
“Why did it make me mad that Paul said the rainbow bagels were for the NHS and not Pride lmao,” one person tweeted.
“Rainbow bagels... support the NHS all day long but the rainbow belongs to PRIDE #LGBTQI+ #GBBO,” another said.
Someone else tweeted that while they don’t find rainbow bagels particularly appetising, they feel strongly about what they represent.
“I don’t even like rainbow bagels, they look like plastic and should never have existed but I will defend their gayness to the end of the world #GBBO,” they said.
Meanwhile, another Bake Off viewer said that they believe rainbow bagels gained popularity during Pride celebrations in 2017.
In June, Bagel Queen Co, a bagel shop in Australia, shared a post on Facebook saying that they were selling rainbow bagels in honour of Pride Month.
Shanghai-based bagel shop Spread the Bagel also said they were selling rainbow bagels in June, sharing pictures of the brightly-coloured bakes on the Shanghai Pride website.
The Independent has contacted Channel 4 for comment.
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