Cher has apologised for taking a selfie with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
The iconic singer performed at Sydney’s 40th Mardi Gras celebrations over the weekend, where she took time out to pose for a seemingly innocent selfie with Malcolm, his wife Lucy, and New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
“Welcome to Sydney, Cher! Gladys, Lucy and I and all your fans [are] thrilled to be with you at the 40th Mardi Gras & first since Australia achieved marriage equality,” the PM wrote on Twitter.
— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) March 3, 2018
Despite the festive atmosphere, many on social media expressed disappointment that Cher had taken a photo with the same man who pushed for a postal plebiscite on same-sex marriage in Australia last year.
The plebiscite cost an estimated $100 million, and put the rights of LGBTQ people up for debate among the public, which critics argued would give homophobes a platform to voice their hate – an especially damaging prospect for young LGBTQ people.
“After what you put all the LGBTIQ community through past year I think you should instead work on an apology before you post these pictures,” wrote one follower.
After what you put all the LGBTIQ community through past year I think you should instead work on an apology before you post these pictures!
— Adam Kundrat (@adam_kundrat) March 3, 2018
“Do you have any shame… at all,” asked another. “The ‘postal survey’ was awful. Perhaps you can tell Cher all about it.”
Do you have any shame….at all.
The 'postal survey' was awful. Perhaps you can tell Cher all about it.
— Phil Jones (@Phil_n_thropy) March 3, 2018
When questioned why she posed for a selfie with Malcolm, Cher wrote on Twitter: “The man I talked to seemed proud of everyone at the parade. Am I missing something?
“The man I talked [to] could be reasoned with, the man I talked to believes in equal rights for all of his people. The man I talked to will listen and hear and [be] compassionate.”
I’m not sure what you mean.
The Man I Talked To Seemed PROUD OF EVERYONE AT THE PARADE. Am I Missing. Something⁉️
The Man I TALKED Could Be Reasoned With,The Man I Talked TO Believes In Equal Rights for ALL OF HIS PPL.THE MAN I TAKED TO WILL LISTEN &
— Cher (@cher) March 3, 2018
But when some of her fans explained why they dislike Malcolm, Cher apologised.
“Am so sorry. Guess that’s why I have FEW friends who are politicians. He seemed very open and excited about Mardi Gras, and [the] LGBT community,” she wrote.
Am so sorry. Guess that’s why I have FEW Friends Who Are Politicians.He Seemed Very Open & excited about MARDI
GRAS,AND LGBT COMMUNITY.
— Cher (@cher) March 4, 2018
Despite that minor slip-up, Cher slayed the motherf**king house down over the weekend when she performed a medley of her most iconic hits at Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
The 71-year-old icon looked like she’s not aged a day in over twenty years as she performed singles such as Believe, Strong Enough, If I Could Turn Back Time and All Or Nothing.
While speaking to reporters, Cher praised the event and said “it’s about time” Australia voted for marriage equality.
“I love that everybody is having such a good time and there’s no feeling of any kind of anger, there’s no negativity and that’s what I like most,” she said.