The Western Australian Labor party has pulled from its Twitter account a parody music video spoofing Christopher Pyne’s decision to quit politics, after accusations of homophobia.
The 36-second clip superimposes Pyne’s face onto Queen frontman Freddie Mercury’s during a performance of Another One Bites the Dust.
The faces of Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton are also placed over the other members of the band.
But the video didn’t sit well with some social media users, who accused the party of “poor form” posting the video on the same day as the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
“Homophobic. An error in judgment at best, or malicious intent at worst,” one user wrote.
Another complained, “Let’s use being gay as a butt of a joke. Come on Pyne has plenty of character flaws without conflating this like this.”
“This is spectacularly poor form I can’t even. Get in the sea,” another wrote.
“You can do your own research on how many times people have insinuated that Chris is gay. So to photoshop his face on a gay icon is spectacularly poor form.”
The video is still up on WA Labor’s Facebook page, where it’s been viewed over 230,000 times.
WA Labor’s state secretary Matt Dixon defended the parody video, saying there was “nothing intentionally homophobic” about it.
“Our feedback has been very well received. On Twitter some have tried to view it in another light which was never intended,” Dixon said.
“WA Labor has a long and proud history of supporting and working with the LGBTIQ community.
“People should enjoy the video in the spirit it was intended as a comic use of a classic song to draw attention to another senior minister abandoning Scott Morrison’s government.”
On Saturday, Pyne announced he would retire at the upcoming federal election, saying he was confident the Liberal Party will retain the seat of Sturt, which Pyne has held since 1993.
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