James May: what did The Grand Tour star say about Pride flags on social media, did he call them 'oppressive'?

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
James May has issued a response after a post he made on social media about Pride flags. The former Top Gear presenter posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, describing them as “oppressive”.

June is Pride month, with many cities and towns throughout the UK celebrating the LGBTQ+ community with parades, events and through flag displays. May’s comments did not go down well, with the TV presenter writing that “some terrible things” like WW2 started due to “too much bunting”. May returned to X on Friday (June 14), to clarify his comments, here’s everything you need to know about what he said.

What did James May say about Pride flags?

On Thursday, May shared a photo of a street lined with LGBTQ+ flags for Pride, alongside a caption where he said, “some terrible things” like WW2 started due to “too much bunting”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

May wrote: “Pride: while I have observed and admired what you have achieved over my lifetime, may I respectfully suggest that you are borderline guilty of Too Much Bunting (TMB). It may be seen as authoritarian, and therefore oppressive.”

He added: “Please remember that some terrible things, with which you would not wish to be allied, began with TMB. World War Two, for example. Nice flag, though.”

The 61-year-old was quick to defend himself in the comments, as users were quick to question the comparrsion to World War Two. One X user wrote: “Respectfully, comparing the LGBT community to Nazis is very offensive. Very disappointed, James,” to which May responded: “I haven’t done that, though, have I?”.

Has James May apologised?

On Friday, (June 14), May returned to X to address the comments he made in his previous post. He did not apologise, but told his followers: “I've had an illuminating 24 hours reading the responses to my 'bunting' post. Now hear this. “1) I'm not suggesting that the Pride movement has anything in common with the Nazis. “2) My post is not intended for use as a community launch pad for sorties into lazy homophobia. “3) Yes, plenty of other events (royal ones, for example) also transgress the TMB ruling. “4) People should read through their posts before submission. This won't work as a platform for 'citizen journalism' if half of it is incomprehensible b******s. “That is all. Carry on. Peace 'n' love, everyone.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

May also reshared a post from an X user who replied to his status saying: “i expected better from you”, stating: “what are you doing on here mum?”

Sarah McCann is a Trends Writer for NationalWorld. If you liked this article you can follow Sarah on X (Twitter) here. You can also sign up to her free weekly column in the NationalWorld newsletter bringing you the latest tv and film news every Thursday.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.