The small group behind a so-called “Straight Pride Parade” in Boston must stop using Brad Pitt’s name and likeness in connection with the proposed event, according to a story published Thursday by The Hollywood Reporter.
The organizers of the Straight Pride Parade, a group calling itself Super Happy Fun America, initially dubbed the actor the face of the event. But by Friday morning, they had declared a new “mascot.”
“The Straight Community has adopted [Redacted] as our mascot!” a message on the group’s website read. “Congratulations to [Redacted] for being the face of this important civil rights movement.”
A call to Pitt’s manager was not immediately returned.
Word of a Straight Pride Parade in Boston surfaced in recent days just as Pride Month — the annual celebration of the LGBTQ community — was getting underway. The route of the “Straight Pride Parade” would apparently mirror that of the annual LGBTQ Pride Parade that will wind its way through Boston on Saturday.
News of plans for a Straight Pride Parade made headlines around the world this week and elicited a swift backlash on social media. A public event application filed with the city identifies John Hugo as the primary organizer of the parade and a tentative date of Aug. 31. The parade has not yet been issued a permit, according to the city.
Hugo told the Globe on Wednesday that Super Happy Fun America is “not anti-gay, we’re pro-straight.”
When asked about the controversy, Mayor Martin J. Walsh initially attempted to turn attention toward the city’s Pride Parade and festivities, which draw throngs of supporters every year. Streets and businesses throughout the South End are festooned at this time of year with rainbow Pride flags, banners, and products in support of the LGBTQ community.
“Don’t even worry about it,” Walsh said he told people at a Pride ceremony Tuesday. “There will probably be 10 people at the [Straight Pride] parade, if he has one. I’m not going to focus on it. Probably the most I’m ever going to say about it is what I said right now.”
By Thursday night, with the story still making headlines, Walsh took to Twitter to “clear a few things up” about the city’s stance on the Straight Pride Parade.
“First, Boston’s values are clear: respect, diversity, and acceptance of all,” Walsh tweeted. “As Mayor, I’m proud to host our annual Pride Week, where our city comes together to celebrate the diversity, strength and acceptance of our LGBTQ community.”
First, Boston's values are clear: respect, diversity, and acceptance of all. As Mayor, I'm proud to host our annual Pride Week, where our city comes together to celebrate the diversity, strength and acceptance of our LGBTQ community.— Mayor Marty Walsh (@marty_walsh) June 6, 2019
He continued: “Second, permits to host a public event are granted based on operational feasibility, not based on values or endorsements of beliefs. The City of Boston cannot deny a permit based on an organization’s values.”
Second, permits to host a public event are granted based on operational feasibility, not based on values or endorsements of beliefs. The City of Boston cannot deny a permit based on an organization's values.— Mayor Marty Walsh (@marty_walsh) June 6, 2019
He then stated that the group organizing the Straight Pride Parade does not yet have a permit “but it [is] working to amend their application for permits to host a public event.” He finished his thread with another tweet in support of the Boston Pride Parade on Saturday and “the fight for progress and equity for all.”
Whatever outside groups may try do, our values won't change. I invite each and every person to stand with us, and show that love will always prevail. Join us in celebration this Saturday for the @bostonpride Parade and in the fight for progress and equality for all. pic.twitter.com/AwoGuuHuVp— Mayor Marty Walsh (@marty_walsh) June 6, 2019