Elton John said the reaction to Phillip Schofield’s affair with a younger colleague was “completely homophobic”.
The 76-year-old singer claimed a straight relationship with a similar age gap wouldn’t have drawn such negative coverage.
John made the comments in an interview with the radio timeswhere he denounced the status of LGBT+ rights and people in the US and compared them to the treatment of LGBT+ people This morning moderator.
The ‘Candle In The Wind’ singer said: “Well everything is going wrong in America. Violence and (discriminatory) laws are passed in Florida that are disgraceful.
“There is now a law in Florida where a doctor can refuse to treat you if you’re gay, which I find incredible.
“We seem to be taking a step backwards. And that’s spreading. It’s like a virus that the LGBTQ+ movement suffers from.”
He added: “I don’t like it at all. It’s a rising tide of anger and homophobia across America.
“I don’t know if it’s the UK because I haven’t been here that much. But I feel like the Phillip Schofield thing was totally homophobic.
“If it were a straight man having an affair with a young woman, it wouldn’t even make the papers.”
Schofield resigned from ITV last month and was fired from his talent agency YMU after admitting an “unwise but not illegal” affair with a younger male runner This morning.
During an interview with the BBC’s Amol Rajan, the 61-year-old said he “lost everything” after admitting the affair and the aftermath had a “disastrous effect” on his mind.
He claimed so too The sun that homophobia had sparked criticism of him, leading to conflicting reactions to his affair and Leonardo DiCaprio’s relationships with younger women.
Schofield said, “Attraction is attraction. The gay world is no different than the straight world or the lesbian world.
“There shouldn’t be any difference. This is where homophobia comes in.
“We first met when he was 15, I went to drama school (which he went to).
“So yes, there is a difference. It’s accepted by Leonardo DiCaprio, but it’s not accepted when it’s in the gay world.”
John, who will headline the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival this month with a performance to be broadcast on BBC One and BBC Radio 2 on June 25, joins other high-profile figures criticizing the backlash against Schofield.
LGBT+ rights activist Peter Tatchell said in a statement shared with the PA news agency earlier this month that the “annihilation” of Schofield had “more than a hint of homophobia”.
Tatchell called the public reaction a “double standard,” while actor Rupert Everett called the media coverage “insane.”
Additional reporting by agencies