Cher was criticised for appearing in a selfie with Malcolm Turnbull. Picture: Twitter/ @TurnbullMalcolm
Cher was criticised for appearing in a selfie with Malcolm Turnbull. Picture: Twitter/ @TurnbullMalcolm

Cher ‘so sorry’ for Mardi Gras selfie

IF ONLY Cher could turn back time.

The international pop star has issued a stunning online apology for appearing in a controversial photo with the Prime Minister at Mardi Gras on Saturday.

Malcolm Turnbull can be seen widely grinning in a picture with the American singer, who dazzled thousands of spectators by walking out into Taylor Square in the middle of the festivities this weekend before her performance.

The superstar donned bright orange hair and a low-cut black top with a silver-embroiled jacket and she was swamped by security, drag queens and performers as she stood on Oxford St among thousands of spectators watching the floats pass by.

It was an iconic moment in the event's history and the Believe singer also performed a raucous concert to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the parade on Saturday night - marking the first Mardi Gras since same-sex marriage was legalised in Australia.

But when Mr Turnbull uploaded a seemingly innocent photograph of himself, his wife Lucy and New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian with the LGBTQI icon onto his Twitter, there was a swift backlash on social media.

Mr Turnbull described the parade as a "wonderful part of Sydney" in the post. "It's 40 years old and 40 years ago Lucy and I had our first date so our love affair is a result of Mardi Gras," he said at the event.

However, some commenters on the selfie said the Prime Minister was to blame for the "harmful" same-sex marriage postal survey process - which they claim placed unwanted scrutiny on the LGBTQI community.

Cher paraded through Sydney as part of the celebrations. Picture: Hollie Adams/The Australian
Cher paraded through Sydney as part of the celebrations. Picture: Hollie Adams/The Australian

"LGBTIQ people were taunted and abused for months," wrote one Twitter user on the post.

"I love you (Cher) but, did @TurnbullMalcolm tell you he has a whole review being held to enshrine discrimination again the LGBTIQ community???" wrote another.

At first, Cher responded to comments with confusion but added that she believed Mr Turnbull seemed supportive of the LGBTIQ community when she briefly met him.

"I'm not sure what you mean," she wrote in response on Twitter. "The Man I Talked To Seemed PROUD OF EVERYONE AT THE PARADE. Am I Missing. Something!?

"The Man I TALKED Could Be Reasoned With,The Man I Talked TO Believes In Equal Rights for ALL OF HIS PPL. THE MAN I TAKED (sic) TO WILL LISTEN & HEAR & (be) COMPASSIONATE."

However, just one day and hundreds of comments later, Cher took to Twitter to say that she was "so sorry" for appearing in the picture.

"(I) Am so sorry," she wrote. "Guess that's why I have FEW Friends Who Are Politicians.He Seemed Very Open & excited about MARDI GRAS AND LGBT COMMUNITY."

Commenters quickly responded to say that she had no need to be sorry.

"You're totally forgiven Ms Cher. You're a good person & a fantastic ally. I don't expect you to be all up with Aussie domestic politics," said one commenter.

Cher apologised for the picture on Twitter. Picture: AAP Image/Joel Carrett.
Cher apologised for the picture on Twitter. Picture: AAP Image/Joel Carrett.

"Cher..... nothing to be sorry for! You're not Australian and shouldn't be expected to know everything and anything about Turnbull and local politics," said another.

The Prime Minister, who didn't attend last year's parade because of the marriage equality controversy says the 'yes' vote was an affirmation of love and respect for same sex couples.

"It was like the nation gave same sex couples an enormous hug," he said at the parade. "It was a vote for equality, a vote for respect and what a huge vote it was."

- with Megan Palin



Sand quarry approved as concerns resolved after 3 years

premium_icon Sand quarry approved as concerns resolved after 3 years

Residents are happy with the result but an appeal could be lodged

Coalition is tackling the issue of labour hire: Landry

premium_icon Coalition is tackling the issue of labour hire: Landry

Capricornia MP lays out her plans to increase fairness for workers

Labor's guarantee to fix NBN rollout or penalties will apply

Labor's guarantee to fix NBN rollout or penalties will apply

NBN roll out rage has been widespread but Labor has a plan to fix it

Local Partners