ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 24: Darren Till of England poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 24, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
UFC fighter Darren Till is facing a police investigation over a cruel transphobic meme – but has refused to apologise.
Early last week, Till posted an anti-trans meme which resulted in police reports being filed against him, as reported by The Liverpool Echo.
The mocked-up image of a pregnant trans woman at an ultrasound appointment earned him a temporary Instagram ban, as well as an investigation by Merseyside Police following complaints that the post could “stoke homophobia and transphobia”.
The force told the Echo that investigations are ongoing.
Till has replied to the controversy in an Instagram video, in which he said he “has transgender friends who thought it was hilarious” and that he knew the meme was “going to get a backlash”.
“I’m always posting very controversial things,” he explained, saying his post had only drawn complaints from the “offended brigade”.
To summarise, the UFC fighter posted a short statement: “You can’t cancel someone who doesn’t give a s**t.”
Since then, he’s doubled down on Twitter by promising “even more offensive” posts in the future. “Turn post notifications on,” he wrote.
The post got 100k likes… it was a successful day of posting on Instagram I would say… I’ve got a belter post this weekend for u, even more offensive. turn post notifications on!!!! https://t.co/mU1o989c4c
— D (@darrentill2) July 29, 2021
Hollyoaks actor Adam Woodward also got caught up in the controversy, posting a comment on the original meme which read “absolutely dead” followed by a skull emoji – indicating the meme was so hilarious he was dying.
After being called out extensively on social media, Woodward deleted the comment and issued a formal apology, describing himself as an “ally” to the LGBT+ community.
“I would like to apologise for engaging with an offensive post on social media,” he wrote. “The interaction is not indicative of my beliefs or attitude as an ally of the LGBT+ community.”
The meme was condemned by Wirral businessman Drew Cockton, who told the Daily Mail: “Transgender people have a hard enough life as it is without being ridiculed by public figures.”