Paul Hollywood claimed that rainbow bagels being made on The Great British Bake Off represented the NHS, and it’s fair to say that queer fans are not impressed.
For the technical challenge on Tuesday night’s episode (6 October), bakers were asked to make rainbow coloured bagels.
“But why would anybody ever want to eat a rainbow bagel?” we hear you ask, and honestly, we really don’t know.
But the situation quickly went from bad to worse when, in a conversation with fellow judge Prue Leith, Paul Hollywood suggested that the colours represent the NHS.
“Paul, why rainbow coloured bagel?” Leith asked Hollywood.
“I think the rainbow colours for me, although it originated over in the States, I think it represents the NHS.”
“Well, it does now,” Leith replied with a knowing laugh.
They went on to agree that the rainbow bagels are “happy bread”, which is surely as close as they could possibly come to acknowledging that the rainbow has long been established as a symbol of LGBT+ Pride.
Queer fans of The Great British Bake Off rushed to Twitter to express their outrage over rainbow bagels.
At that moment, queer people across the UK felt the Earth shaking beneath them as fans of The Great British Bake Off rushed to Twitter to point out that, no, the rainbow colours actually represent the LGBT+ community.
“rainbow bagels represent the NHS” #gbbo pic.twitter.com/Nf4dLDTfEa
— shane reaction ☘️ (@shane_reaction_) October 6, 2020
me when paul hollywood erases gay bagels #gbbo pic.twitter.com/8Esmpa2r04
— Lucia Osborne-Crowley (@LuciaOC_) October 6, 2020
Every gay on twitter when Paul Hollywood said the rainbow bagels represent the NHS #GBBO pic.twitter.com/6oIQ8UEo9t
— 🎃Bambi🎃 (@casualdva) October 6, 2020
Paul Hollywood: it represents the nhs.
The entire LGBTQ+ Community: #bakeoff #GBBO pic.twitter.com/18lDMRd2Bp
— Rhys Collington (@RhysJCollington) October 6, 2020
Making rainbow bagels on #bakeoff and Paul Hollywood reckons they make you think of the NHS. No Hun, those bagels are gay bagels ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜
— Gemma Denise (@AbsoluteTerror_) October 7, 2020
Paul Hollywood: The rainbow represent the NHS!! #gbbo
LGBT twitter: pic.twitter.com/KUd2DJve43
— Steven Bonaventure x (@absolutegazelle) October 6, 2020
paul hollywood: nhs rainbow bagels!
gay twitter™️: pic.twitter.com/1alUcxmybF
— patsy tombstone (@teaistriumphh) October 6, 2020
A rainbow bagel? Represents the NHS? TRUE homosexual erasure on the Bake-Off. RESIGN, PAUL HOLLYWOOD. #GBBO pic.twitter.com/kdjCmjrmER
— Dylan (@dylanhm) October 6, 2020
Linda went on to win the challenge and was crowned – *checks notes* – the queen of the NHS, while the gay bagels of The Great British Bake Off faded into the background as bakers moved on to the showstopper challenge.
The rainbow colours have been co-opted to celebrate the NHS in the UK since the coronavirus pandemic began.
The unfortunate incident came after drawings and paintings of rainbows sprang up in windows across the UK during the initial coronavirus lockdown in an effort to show solidarity with frontline healthcare workers.
The trend was picked up by online sellers, who began selling “thank you NHS flags” with the same six-colour rainbow designed by Gilbert Baker that has represented LGBT+ Pride since 1978.
Elsewhere, Plymouth Citybus suffered criticism from the LGBT+ community after it announced it had altered its rainbow Pride bus, printing the words “thank you NHS and key workers” on the side.
In May, a queer teen started a petition calling for people to stop using the Pride colours as a symbol to celebrate the NHS.
The campaign was started by 16-year-old Bella McMonagle from Northern Ireland, who told Forbes: “I and thousands of other LGBT+ people in this country feel like they are having their history erased – both young and the old members of the community. I thought someone should speak up and do something about it.”
The petition was signed more than 2,000 times.