Joe Lycett has been branded a “hypocrite” for performing in the Middle East prior to his campaign against David Beckham’s role as an ambassador for the World Cup in Qatar.
The comedian, 34, from Birmingham, has come under fire on social media after it emerged that he performed several gigs as part of a tour of the Middle East in January 2015, with two shows held in the Qatari capital Doha.
This follows having recently gone viral for claiming that he was ‘shredding’ £10,000 because David Beckham wouldn’t back down from promoting the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Lycett later confirmed that he had donated the funds to LGBTQ charities instead of destroying it.
Last week, he blasted the former footballer further in his Channel 4 show, as he argued Beckham failed to be a true ally to the LGBTQ+ community by supporting the tournament in a country where homosexuality is still illegal.
Twitter users have criticised Lycett’s actions and questioned his morals as it was revealed he joked about the anti-LGBTQ laws in his 2017 autobiography.
One wrote: “I love @joelycett, but any news on the hypocrisy row, and his gigs in Qatar?! He’s a frequent tweeter, but nothing on his feed yet. Come on Joe, fill that void…the Beckham’s PR machine has clearly been stirring the 💩 and uncovering some skeletons!”
Another commented: “Disappointed but not surprised to read that @joelycett is a total hypocrite. Has himself taken the money to perform in Qatar & UAE despite publicly criticising & pulling publicity stunts against others. You’re a fake Joe.”
A third said: “Said it from the start. @joelycett used the #LGBT community and the appalling situation in #Qatar for his own gain. Nothing he did helped a single person in the UK or around the globe, It just lined his back pocket. He’s an absolute disgrace”
A fourth added: “I don’t understand #JoeLycett - he mercilessly called out #DavidBeckham and then we find out that he himself has done gigs in Qatar and UAE. Why be such a hypocrite?”
According to MailOnline, the comedian reflected on his performances in the Middle East in his 2017 book titled ‘Parsnips, Buttered’.
Lycett wrote: “I was performing stand-up in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar. Friends of mine had warned me about travelling to these countries, claiming that ‘they don’t like’, as one friend put it, ‘your lot’.
“The punishment for homosexuality in these countries is often jail, the logic of which I’ve never understood. "Oh, you like men? We’ll put you in a box with some." Not exactly a punishment, lads!”
Joe Lycett took to Twitter to respond to the reaction about his performances in the Middle East.
In a post that now has over 50,000 likes, Joe said: “Oops! I’ve been caught out by The Sun! I did two gigs in Doha in 2015 and kept it entirely secret by writing about it in my own book and mentioning it in multiple interviews including with the NY Times!
“If you’re interested, I was paid a few hundred quid (not by Qatar but by UK comedy promoters) but it was 2015 and that went a lot further back then.
“I reckon that if a popular comedian from those days (eg Shane Ritchie) had shredded a few hundred quid to persuade me not to go, it would have made a difference. But who can say? I don’t have the perfect hindsight and spotless morality.”
To find out more about Joe Lycett visit: https://www.peopleworld.co.uk/people/joe-lycett