The I Predict A Riot singer caused a stir when he listed off the manufacturers of Covid-19 vaccines during the band’s set, including Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca, and requested festival-goers to respond with a cheer to which jab they had received.
In footage shared on social media from the festival at Seaclose Park in Newport, Isle of Wight, the 43-year-old singer can then be heard saying: ‘Let’s hear it for the anti-vaxxers,’ which provoked boos from the crowd.
The video of his interaction was shared on social media, with some criticising his actions.
Presenter Gillian McKeith tweeted the clip, which does include swearing below, and branded it ‘the most depressing, manipulative scene I have ever witnessed from the music world’.
‘How much was he paid to become a drug baron? Pushing segregation and encouraging bullying,’ she added.
Others accused the frontman of ‘encouraging discrimination’ and likened the band to ‘a cult’.
However, the former Voice UK coach took to Twitter to slam the ‘Vaccine Risk Aware’ community.
He wrote: ‘I thought the virus was frightening, but the dedicated velocity of the “Vaccine Risk Aware” community is swift, personal, harsh, expletive ridden and effective.
‘They win fair and square. Twitter is yours.’
The Ruby singer also responded to Gillian’s tweet, calling out the fact she also used her ‘influence every single day to share what you believe’.
‘No bullying Gillian, and no one is getting paid. I believe what I believe,’ Ricky tweeted. ‘You are using your influence every single day to share what you believe (Which you have a right to do) and I do it once and you label me manipulative?
‘Please leave me alone in future.’
It comes after Nicki Minaj hit the headlines for repeatedly voicing her scepticism about the vaccine, when she revealed she was skipping the Met Gala due to it being obligatory for attendees to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
The 38-year-old US rapper also claimed that her cousin’s friend became ‘impotent’ and that his ‘testicles became swollen’ after having the jab.
Nicki, who has more than 22million followers on Twitter, wrote on the platform: ‘My cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent. His testicles became swollen.
‘His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding. So just pray on it & make sure you’re comfortable with ur decision, not bullied (sic).’
The Starships singer’s claims were widely ridiculed and dismissed as ‘ridiculous’ by England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty, as well as ‘false’ and ‘time wasting’ by Trinidad and Tobago’s health minister, Terrence Deyalsingh.
The Covid vaccines are safe and effective and give you the best protection against the virus. They have been approved for use in the UK and have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.
Research has shown that it helps by reducing the risk of getting seriously ill or dying from Covid, as well as reducing the risk of catching or spreading it and protecting against variants.
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