The producer of the ‘It Gets Better South Africa’ gay youth support campaign has confirmed that Oscar Pistorius has been dropped from the project.
(Pic: It Gets Better South Africa)
The fallen sporting icon is facing charges of premeditated murder related to the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his Pretoria home in the early hours of Valentine’s Day.
Pistorius and other local celebrities recently recorded video clips for the campaign, which is set to be launched on Wednesday.
The It Gets Better South Africa videos aim to discourage homophobic bullying and promote the Triangle Project Helpline (021 712 6699), a service for LGBT youth.
On Monday, It Gets Better South Africa producer Andrew Barry, a Master of Philosophy in Education student at UCT, confirmed that Pistorius would now not be included in the campaign.
“Given the recent circumstances, the [Pistorius] video is no longer part of the programme,” he told Mambaonline.
He refused to comment further on the athlete’s participation in the project, but said that “the issue of bullying of LGBT youth is a critical one which demands the attention of all South Africans. We hope the videos and the many more that will be produced in the months ahead will have a positive effect in affirming an anti-bullying message”.
According to an earlier press release, Pistorius was quoted as saying in his video: “Just remember that you’re special. You don’t have to worry. You don’t have to change. Take a deep breath and remember it will get better.”
It Gets Better South Africa is linked to the global It Gets Better project, created in the US in 2010 by syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage in response to the suicides of LGBT teens who had been bullied in school.
The South African videos will be launched as part of the Cape Town Holocaust Centre’s In Whom Can I Still Trust? exhibition, which looks at homophobia in Nazi Germany and the gay rights movement in South Africa, on February 20 at 7:00 pm.