American actress Goldie Hawn has become embroiled in a row after she posted a picture of herself meeting Nigeria’s “wonderful” anti-gay president.
Hawn tweeted the photo on Wednesday, in which she is seen in Davos shaking hands with President Goodluck Jonathan, who recently signed Nigeria’s new horror anti-gay law.
She included a caption with the picture that read: “Met the wonderful President of Nigeria”.
The Academy-Award winning star and philanthropist was quickly flooded with outraged messages asking if she was aware of Jonathan’s LGBT persecution. She repeatedly apologised and pleaded ignorance before deleting the tweet.
“My God I deeply apologise for not being informed,” she said, adding: “deeply embarrassed I was misinformed and do NOT support this horror!” and “I am horrified to learn this. Hateful act! Uninformed thank you for enlightening me.”
Hawn later issued a statement, saying: “Like too many Americans I had no idea what sort of persecution and discrimination LGBT people in Nigeria are going through. I am shocked, appalled and heartbroken. STOP these atrocities!”
Hawn was in Davos for the World Economic Forum to promote her Hawn Foundation’s MindUP programme which offers tools and strategies to help children to learn more effectively and lead better lives.
The recently enacted Nigerian law outlaws same-sex marriages, same-sex relationships, public same-sex affection and LGBT clubs or organisations; with prison sentences of up to 14 years.
People who witness or aid a same-sex marriage and anyone who does not report LGBT people to the authorities also face a jail sentence. Gay sex is already illegal with a penalty of 14 years in prison.