LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 19: Rob Rinder attends the ITV Gala at London Palladium on November 19, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
Celebrity barrister Robert Rinder – who is perhaps best known for being the eponymous figure in ITV reality show Judge Rinder – has warned those in the limelight against using their sexuality to “help their career.”
In an op-ed for the Evening Standard, the television personality said that he understands “that the pink pound can be a useful market to tap” nowadays. But also highlighted that there’s a difference between “appealing to a gay audience” and “being all-out disingenuous.”
“People who know they’re straight, but refuse to label themselves in order to appeal to a broader audience, are at best indulging in financially motivated, crass flirtation and, at worst, being a cynical tease.”
Rinder went on in the piece to draw attention to Love Island star Curtis Pritchard’s recent appearance on Good Morning Britain, which had viewers slating hosts Adil Ray and Kate Garraway as they “interrogated” the ballroom dancer over his earlier comments about being open to dating a man.
Prior to the interview, he told The Sun that he “wouldn’t rule out” entering into a same-sex relationship in the future, before saying: “You can never put a label on anything.”
On the breakfast show, Ray and Garraway repeatedly asked him whether that means he identifies as bisexual, to which Pritchard explained that he doesn’t like confining himself to one identity because “nobody can ever say what’s going to happen” later down the line.
“I am all for privacy, but if you are the one to start a public discussion about your sexuality, you can reasonably be asked to see that conversation through,” Rinder stated in his piece, noting that he was “hugely underwhelmed” by Pritchard’s avoidance of the question.
“There is nothing wrong with asking somebody to clarify comments that they have voluntarily made.”
“Appearing on Love Island is an invitation to have your sex life discussed — suggesting afterwards that you might be bisexual is a guarantee that someone is going to want to know more.
“He could (and perhaps should) have told Garraway to mind her own business, but there is nothing wrong with asking somebody to clarify comments that they have voluntarily made.”
Rinder even went on to suggest that Garraway and Ray weren’t “probing the reality star” like many have suggested online.
Instead he believes they were simply “trying to get to the bottom of the real and important question of whether Pritchard was genuinely revealing an intimate fact about who he is, or whether he was attempting to don the cloak of a minority identity in order to cynically exploit it.”