entertainment

G-A-Y owner hits back after Sarah Harding charity fundraiser night branded 'opportunistic'

The famous LGBTQ nightclub chain has pledged £5000 to Macmillan Cancer Support - but some people aren't happy.

2021-09-09

Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Channel 5

G-A-Y boss Jeremy Joseph has sparked an online debate after announcing a club night in honour of the late Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding.

Harding, known for hits like 'Sound of the Underground' and 'Love Machine', died on Sunday 5 September after a battle with breast cancer.

Two days later, Joseph tweeted to share details about the upcoming tribute, taking place at Heaven nightclub in London on Saturday 18 September.

"A @macmillancancer Fundraiser," he wrote. "G-A-Y Pays Tribute To @SarahNHarding. Goal is to raise £5000. You can donate at https://buff.ly/3zZgbnF. Celebrating Her Life With Hits Of GIRLS ALOUD played with Saturday dance floor fillers [sic]."

Joseph added on Instagram: "Girls Aloud 1st ever show was at G-A-Y as part of Popstars The Rivals.

"Throughout their career, the girls have always been loyal to G-A-Y."

"This is actually foul"

News of the club night generated a sizeable backlash, with one follower commenting: "As if tagging her wasn't distasteful enough, you're only donating £1 per entry and pocketing £3 for yourself? You know people will show up to pay tribute to their hero and you're profiting off that. Extremely opportunistic and distasteful."

Another added: "I don’t usually jump on bandwagon but this is really bad taste it would only be a tribute if all wristband purchases went too charity. And even then it is still distasteful."

Said a third: "This is actually foul, and so out of touch, if you really wanted to raise money you’d donate ALL the money from tickets and drink sales - as someone who’s had Macmillan help them in the past I think this is disgusting and you should be ashamed."

However, some defended the idea, with one saying: "People are forgetting that costs have to be covered, of which door charges goes towards. Staff need paying (and assuming there are a lot of them). Entertainment/costs for the night will need paying. Everyone moaning about him donating £5k, when they don’t even donate £5."

Another said: "Should the bar staff all not get paid for the night then too?"

Responding to a critic saying all the proceeds should go to charity, Joseph commented back yesterday: "Read what is written. The goal is to raise over £5000, we are only asking £1 per customer, the rest will come from G-A-Y & hopefully it will be more than £5000 & of course you can donate here at virginmoneygiving.com/fund/65Miles65Grants."

Girls Aloud, also comprised of Nadine Coyle, Cheryl Cole, Kimberley Walsh and Nicola Roberts, were formed on Popstars: The Rivals in 2002.

Attitude has approached G-A-Y for comment.

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