People are still talking about it: Adam Rippon wore a harness to the 2018 Oscars, and social media lost its damn mind. Tons of queer people were screaming “yaaasss queen” into their TVs as they watched the big event’s red carpet programming. Other queer people were worried about “the message it sent to straight America” (who the eff cares, we say). And still others — mostly straight people, we’d venture to guess — were just … confused by Rippon’s Oscars harness.
Also in that “confused” category: The BBC. (And no, not this BBC.)
In a piece titled “Oscars 2018: Why is everyone talking about this outfit?” published on Oscars night, the BBC spoke of Rippon’s “unconventional outfit”:
Olympic medallist and figure skater Adam Rippon was one of the first people to arrive on the red carpet in an unconventional outfit.
Along with a suit, he was wearing a leather harness designed by the creative director of Moschino, Jeremy Scott.
That second sentence has since been amended, but it originally read like this:
How cute! The BBC clearly has no clue that the leather harness sported by Rippon was actually a nod to his queerhood. (And perhaps his raunchy in-the-bedroom sensibilities?) The Fifty Shades franchise, of course, refers to the heterosexual BDSM film trilogy based on the popular Fifty Shades of Grey books.
Despite deleting the (super cute) error, the BBC has been roundly mocked on Twitter, and the line persists in BBC syndication elsewhere on the web.
Twitter user Nick McGlynn, a human geographer and lecturer in the School of Environment and Technology at Brighton University in England, pointed out the faulty reporting in a pithy tweet (below) which read, “Too many straight people working at the BBC.”
Too many straight people working at the BBC. pic.twitter.com/BAE1eYmB22
— Nick McGlynn (@nikku_man) March 5, 2018
His tweet has since been retweeted over 9,500 times with a handful of funny responses (below):
Everyone knows it's a nod to Road Warrior. pic.twitter.com/8E3fQcB4uU
— Gym-Bo (@TheGymBo) March 5, 2018
— mark millar (@marky_millar) March 5, 2018
I'm a straight grandma living in the midwest and even I knew what he was wearing. A harness. As part of his formal wear. I loved it!
— Tish Aguilar (@MommaTish) March 5, 2018
Yes, we must all remember that prior to the 50 Shades franchise, gay people were entirely unaware of leather harnesses.
— Joe Flaherty (@joef_3) March 5, 2018
Bahaha these people think gays wear harnesses because of Fifty Shades. Naw dawg. We wear harnesses so there's something sturdy to hold onto to counteract the thrusting impact of the top (Newton's third law of motion)
— EYS??♀️ (@steamyporkbuns) March 5, 2018
It’s like when your mum try’s to reference one of your interests.
— Mia (Mizipen) Rose Hall Carrison (@MizipenArt) March 5, 2018
When Rippon received flack for his bold fashion choice at the Oscars, he responded:
“I think fashion is all about self-expression and I chose to wear what I wore on the red carpet because I felt cool AF. Everyone should take risks, be bold, and not give a [shit]. It’s LOTS of fun. Huge thanks to my team for dressing me and make me feel like a sexy MF,’ he proudly posted to Twitter.”