Things at Huffington Post Arabi are a bit different than at their Western offshoots. Like everyone else, the official Twitter page for the Huffington Post‘s Arabic edition announced the death of music legend George Michael—but it also added, in the headline no less, that he had “homosexual tendencies.”
Unlike other HuffPo editions, which paid due respect to the artist and celebrated his achievements, the Arabic edition ran the story with the following headline: “Musician George Michael dead at 53. Addicted to drugs with homosexual tendencies.”
The article went further into Michael’s sexual “tendencies” and mentioned his previous struggles with drugs, recounting instances he was seen under the influence of drugs. The piece also pointed out Michael’s opposition to the war in Iraq in 2003. Only in the last paragraph did it finally mention Michael’s success as a musician.
It’s unclear why the site decided to focus on the artist’s sexuality, drug problems and politics—particularly after the singer’s longtime manager Michael Lippman told the media that the cause of death was believed to be heart failure.
The headline has sparked criticism from others, who saw it as lacking decency. One Twitter user wrote: “You’re disgusting!” Another user suggested the main Huffington Post office could teach the Arabic edition “some damn common decency.”
Headline translation: 'Musician George Michael dead at 53. Addicted to drugs with homosexual tendencies'
What is Huffington Post even doing https://t.co/qyNJba6XOS
— Lur (@lur_ag) December 26, 2016
— Eman Hashim (@EmanHashim) December 26, 2016
— Samir Nassar (@samirnassar) December 26, 2016
— Tamer Y. Abouzeid (@tyabouzeid) December 26, 2016
— A. B. Kitan (@abdelkiten) December 26, 2016
You're disgusting! https://t.co/WlCW7xXK8d
— Mazen Jean✨ (@mazenbjs) December 26, 2016
— Ahmed Yousif (@AhmedYNZ) December 26, 2016
— Jamil Nabbal (@__Nabbal__) December 26, 2016