Billy Eichner launches scathing attack on Eminem’s Oscars performance: ‘You can sing the word f****t and still perform?’

Eminem and Billy Eichner at the Oscars

The surprise Oscars performance by Eminem didn’t go down well with comedian Billy Eichner, who hasn’t forgotten the rapper’s history of using homophobic slurs.

Eminem returned to the Oscars 17 years after he won Best Original Song for 8 Mile‘s “Lose Yourself” to finally perform the song live.

Stars from Brad Pitt to Billie Eillish were seen giving Eminem a standing ovation, and after the show the rapper was pictured reuniting with his “Uncle” Elton John.

But one person who wasn’t impressed by Eminem’s turn was The Lion King star Billy Eichner, who questioned whether the rapper’s performance was appropriate given the Oscars’ efforts to promote diversity (just not in any of its acting categories).

“Well, you can still sing the word ‘faggot’ a million times and still perform at the Oscars that’s about ‘diversity.’ Mmkay,” he tweeted.

Eminem has been criticised throughout his lengthy rap career for his use of anti-gay lyrics.

As recently as 2018, on the album Kamikaze, the rapper used the word “faggot” to describe Tyler, the Creator

His most recent release, January’s Music to Be Murdered By, was notably devoid of anti-gay sentiments. It included an apology to Tyler as well as an appearance by lesbian rapper Young MA.

This led Variety to ponder whether “Eminem’s rampant homophobia may be in remission” in its review of the album.

Elton John defends Eminem from homophobia accusations.

Elton John has become one of Eminem’s most high-profile defenders since the pair struck up a friendship around the turn of the millennium.

In a 2017 interview on The Graham Norton Show Elton called any accusations of homophobia “nonsense,” and recalled the unusual gift the rapper had given him and his now-husband David Furnish to celebrate their 2005 civil partnership.

“We had two diamond-encrusted c**k rings on velvet cushion,” Elton said.

“That shows you how homophobic he isn’t.”

Eminem has credited Elton with helping him get sober after struggling with an addiction to prescription painkillers.

“When I first wanted to get sober, I called [Elton] and spoke to him about it,” the rapper told the Detroit Metro Times in 2009.

“He’s somebody who’s in the business and can identify and relate to the lifestyle and how hectic things can be. He understands… the pressure and any other reasons that you want to come up with for doing drugs.”