Married At First Sight stars Samuel Levi and Liam Cooper have been hit  by a slew of homophobic comments on Instagram, following their  appearance in an advertisement for the BIG W department store chain. 

Levi and Cooper, who went public as a couple this year, appeared together in an ad modelling matching sets of Christmas-themed pyjamas.  

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In response to the negative commentary, BIG W posted, “This is a  friendly reminder that we welcome discussion however we will remove  offensive comments and behaviour that goes against our community  guidelines. Please help us keep this a safe and positive community and  experience for everyone!”  

 

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A post shared by BIG W (@bigwaustralia)

Levi, responding to one supporter on Instagram, said, “Pretty  disappointing to see how people react, and the nasty comments coming  my way.”  

The negative comments have since been deleted from the Instagram  post.  

‘Sad And Disappointing’

 

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A post shared by Samuel Levi (@_samuellevi)

“It was a collaboration to help spread awareness about the Christmas  range,” Levi told the Star Observer. “We were approached, loved the  idea and it was something very on brand for me; so we said yes.” 

”It was a beautiful and positive collaboration which I was super excited  about. It was highlighting Christmas, and the fact it got turned into something totally different and the original message was taken away was disappointing. We are both comfortable in our skin, and did not see any ill intent in the image, and thought it was a lovely message to share  with a brand we love,” Levi added. 

Cooper also expressed his disappointment to the Star Observer, saying, I was disgusted to see and read the homophobic comments underneath  the post.” 

“Samuel received positive comments from his followers when he  originally shared this image on his Instagram page. However, all the  homophobic, bi-phobic hate came from those who follow the BIG W  page when they re-shared Samuel’s content on their page,” Cooper  explained. “This is sad and really disappointing as it’s 2021.” 

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“We both also want to highlight that BIG W did a great job with the  response, and we both felt supported which is a positive,” Levi said. 

 

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A post shared by Samuel Levi (@_samuellevi)

When asked if the backlash would stop the couple from pursuing other  opportunities in media, Levi said, “I am so used to it. It does still get  draining when it happens from time to time. I think of the bigger picture  and now being a role model for those apart of the LGBTQI community, I  am happy to continue to put myself out there as I am super comfortable  in my skin, and Liam feels the same.”

Ad Represents Modern Australian Families

Big W, in a statement sent to the Star Observer, responded to the  controversy saying, “At BIG W, we are proud to feature a diverse range  of talent, like Sam and Liam’s post, that represent modern Australian  families and communities. One of our core values is to build an inclusive  culture where our LGBTQI team members and customers feel  supported and respected. We don’t tolerate discrimination and will  continue to moderate the page by removing discriminatory comments.” 

 

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A post shared by LIAM COOPER (@lcoop_13)

The couple did receive a strong show of support from many, with one social media user saying, “Ignore the idiots who clearly are close minded, everyone  else is supportive and that’s all that matters,” while another posted, “all  the negativity on this post is horrendous.”

Another post thanked the  retailer, saying, “Great to see some representation Big W! Please keep it  up and ban any disgraceful homophobic trolls.”

 

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