Married at First Sight’s Liam Cooper and Samuel Levi have copped a barrage of hateful homophobic comments after Big W shared a photo of them on Saturday.
The image showed the reality stars wearing matching Christmas-themed pyjamas from the retailer.
However, the wholesome pic wasn’t well-received by some of the brand’s followers and customers, who began trolling the couple.
“This is just too much esp for a Big W add [sic],’ one person wrote.
Another called the couple “f*gg*ts” and “gay as f*ck.”
Others left ‘thumbs down’, ‘vomit’ and ‘face-palm’ emojis on the post.
How Did Big W Respond to The Homophobic Backlash Towards Liam and Samuel?
After moderating and deleting the bulk of the offensive comments, Big W then stepped in and defended the couple.
“This is a friendly reminder that we welcome discussion however we will remove offensive comments and behaviour that goes against our community guidelines,” they wrote underneath the post. “Please help us keep this a safe and positive community and experience for everyone! [sic].”
However, followers then began targetting the retailer, criticising them for featuring a same-sex couple in the promotion.
Despite the disgusting behaviour, there was thankfully also some praise for Liam and Samuel, as well as Big W, in the comments.
“Why can’t people see this as just a picture of a couple wearing cute Xmas pyjamas? There is nothing offensive about this,” one person wrote in support.
“These PJs are awesome and the couple modelling them are super cute. Shame on anyone who is posting anything negative about them. Love is love people,” a second user penned.
Another wrote: “These comments are an absolute disgrace.”
How Do Liam and Samuel Feel About The Homophobic Comments?
Samuel replied to one comment, saying: “Pretty disappointing to see how people react, and the nasty comments coming my way.”
Meanwhile, Liam told So Dramatic! on Monday that he was “disgusted” to see the homophobic comments underneath the post.
“Samuel received positive comments from his followers when he originally shared this image on his page. However, all the homophobic, biphobic hate came from those who follow the Big W page when they reshared Samuel’s content on their page,” he explained.
“This is sad and really disappointing as it’s 2021 and all we were doing was working with a brand we love.
“Why was there need for hateful comments regarding our sexuality? Samuel and myself were trolled all day and night after this. The post had no ill intention and was only showcasing love and Christmas pyjamas.”
Despite the horrible experience, Liam says that Big W was amazing and did everything they could to support them during the incident.
“Big W reached out in support asking if we were OK and that they do not stand for those types of comments. They went through and deleted all the nasty comments, as much as they could, which I thought was amazing to see that kind of support,” Liam said.
“Thankfully, Big W was really supportive to us and there were also other reality TV people commenting in support of us too, which was great to see,” he said. “Big W is trying to be inclusive and support the LGBTQIA + Community and it’s a shame this is the reception those efforts get.”
When Did Liam Cooper and Samuel Levi Start Dating?
Liam and Samuel recoupled after their respective stints on the Australian and New Zealand Married at First Sight.
Yep! The couple revealed their feelings for one another while on a trip for Liam’s brother’s birthday, with Samuel adding that “[Liam] made [him] cry” with his love admission. Awww!
“We were just mucking around because we both knew we wanted to say it, but we wouldn’t say it,” Liam told So Dramatic! of the special moment.
Samuel then revealed it’s been a long time since he’s felt the effect of someone being in love with him, adding that the last time he felt this way was “well and truly before [his] time on the show, years ago with [his] first ever kind of boyfriend,”
The 28-year-old said it has taken him a long time to build up “trust and safety” in order to feel comfortable in sharing his love for Liam.
Liam, who is bisexual, was previously ‘married’ to his MAFS co-star Georgia Fairweather before a messy final vows ceremony saw them go their separate ways, while Samuel, who is gay, was coupled up with groom Tayler Morgan.
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