Since the passing of legendary singer George Michael was announced on Christmas Day, his fans and admirers have mourned in their own ways.
However there is one personality from reality TV that has come under fire for his uniquely egocentric way of remembering the former Wham! front-man, who was just 53-years-old when he died from heart failure. Mark Byron is a contestant on the fifteenth series of Big Brother UK (apparently) and a pantomime performer, who was inspired by George Michael’s long career. When Byron found out about his death he weighed in on Twitter, hoping to pay his respects.
Can’t sleep at all because George Michaels has passed. My whole life people have said we look the same. Lost a part of me.
— Mark Byron (@MrMarkByron) December 26, 2016
Everyone has always said I look just like George Michaels. Can’t believe he has gone.
— Mark Byron (@MrMarkByron) December 25, 2016
Unfortunately the misguided manner in which he chose to do so, by comparing his own looks to that of George Michael’s… and even spelling the star’s name incorrectly… Certainly did not go unnoticed by Twitter trolls.
His tweets were dubbed ‘utterly selfish’ by Kate White, who started the barrage of abuse which has ensued for days.
How utterly selfish to make it all about yourself. Typical. @MrMarkByron
— (@IAmMissWhite) December 26, 2016
Some people chose to insensitively compare Byron to other celebrities who passed away this year, including David Guest.
@MrMarkByron His name was George Michael NOT Michaels. And you look more like Carrie Fisher’s dog than George Michael. Clean your mirrors.
— ComedyBint (@ComedyBint) December 27, 2016
Whilst some others chose to compare Byron to less flattering Georges’.
@MrMarkByron Think they meant George at Asda
— Deano Baggio (@DiscoDean7) December 26, 2016
@MrMarkByron You’re thinking of George and Mildred.
— Dli O’Doir (@dli_odoir) December 27, 2016
@MrMarkByron you look more like George ****ing Formby mate. Get a life
— Mick Roberts (@ragbaiter) December 27, 2016
Those with little imagination opted to simply attack Byron’s own appearance instead (obviously).
@MrMarkByron George Michael didn’t have inflatable lips and his teeth and hair weren’t visible from the moon. Idiot.
— Chucklechops (@suedehead_) December 27, 2016
Mark responded to the Twitter trolls, writing:
Cannot believe the sheer amount of abuse I’ve got off this twitter just for saying I looked like George Michael RIP.
I have never compared my talent to George Michael or nothing like that just think we look a bit similar is his younger years.
Byron received little sympathy despite his explanation, so instead he opted to show his naysayers that the abuse wasn’t getting him down.
When people think you’re arsed but actually couldn’t give two shits. pic.twitter.com/I9Sn6vPi8H
— Mark Byron (@MrMarkByron) December 27, 2016
Although his method of paying respects was not to some people’s taste, Byron pointed out that grieving is a very personal emotion and no one has the right to judge someone else’s pain, be it public or private. Meanwhile, this incident is proof that Twitter trolls are sadly using the platform as an arena to publicly shame others in the space of 140 characters.