Harry Styles’ girlfriend Olivia Wilde has been slammed for comments some have labelled as "homophobic" she made in historic interviews.
The 37-year old actor and director split from her fiancé last year and was seen to be spending time with Harry, 27, earlier in 2021.
But now she has been slammed by some members of the LGBTQIA+ community for appearing to suggest that a career shift was akin to those deciding to share their sexuality with others.
As Olivia made the change from being an actress to being a director, she made the comparison that it was like "coming out of the closet".
In a 2019 interview on Off Camera With Sam Jones, the Booksmart director said: "I almost feel like someone who’s come out of the closet. There’s this feeling of honesty about what I really want to do, and it’s a level of comfort that comes from being true to yourself that I haven’t felt in a long time."
She caused further outrage among some social media users as she said in a 2012 monologue that before she met former fiancé Jason Sudeikis in 2011, she considered a "soft kind of lesbian relationship, just gentle kissing and scissoring".
Some social media users and members of the LGBTQIA+ community took to Twitter to slam Olivia for what they claimed was "homophobia".
Meanwhile, others weren’t convinced, and insisted Olivia had been nothing but an advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community, citing times she had spoken up in defence of the people.
One wrote: "Never lost respect to someone as quick as I lost respect to Olivia Wilde."
Another typed: "I’m hurt and this kind of ‘nonchalant’ behaviour and language is so deep rooted homophobia that people think is laughable when it isn’t. Do better Olivia Wilde."
"Just when I was starting to like Olivia Wilde she turns out to be homophobic. Girl I was rooting for you," someone else posted.
As a fourth penned: "I didn’t get called homophobic slurs by the popular straight kids in school for Olivia Wilde to compare a career change to ‘coming out the closet’."
There were plenty of people defending Olivia though, as, in 2016, she sat down with Advocate to discuss her role as a bisexual doctor on hospital drama House, and said: "We actually had lesbian writers who asked me, ‘Are you OK with this? Aren’t you afraid this is going to fuck up your career?’ That seemed crazy to me.
"Other people said, ‘If you always play gay, people will think you’re gay. You should be careful.’ Careful of what? Evolution?"
And numerous people flocked to social media to show the director some support, as one wrote: "If you’re cancelling Olivia Wilde for this you truly need to find something productive to do.
"No, probably not a good comparison but it’s not ‘disgusting’ or ‘homophobic’."
Another dubbed the attempt to "cancel" Olivia "pathetic."
While someone else wrote: "Just found out why Olivia Wilde is trending y’all mfs are literally scraping the bottom of the barrel out here making it sound like she committed a hate crime."
Olivia has also championed Harry’s openness about his own gender and sexuality, telling Vogue last year: "To me, he’s very modern, and I hope that this brand of confidence as a male that Harry has – truly devoid of any traces of toxic masculinity – is indicative of his generation and therefore the future of the world.
"I think he is in many ways championing that, spearheading that."
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Olivia and Harry originally met after he was cast in her film Don’t Worry Darling, opposite Midsommar star Florence Pugh.
Shia LeBeouf was originally set to take the role before they allegedly had a falling out – and Olivia replaced him with the former One Direction star.
In January this year, the couple were seen holding hands at a wedding, with a source telling People: "They have dated for a few weeks."
But the couple haven’t yet made things public.
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