A Vancouver developer is accusing Apple of homophobia after the world’s most valuable technology company rejected his app targeted at homosexuals.
Barry McDermott’s gay humour app, called “Lil Flamer,” targets a gay demographic. The app shows a pink flame-shaped creature that smiles and says things such as “uh huh, girlfriend” and “glitter is the new black” in what the developer describes as an “extremely gay” voice, according to Xtra.
McDermott told Xtra that the whole idea of the niche app was simply “to make people smile and laugh.” But he wasn’t smiling nor laughing when Apple rejected Lil Flamer on the grounds that it was “defamatory or offensive.”
The Vancouverite appealed Apple’s decision to the App Review Board—only to be rejected again. However, this time the reason was different: “The following issue/s were discovered during our evaluation: 19.1: Apps containing references or commentary about a religious, cultural or ethnic group that are defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited or likely to expose the targeted group to harm or violence will be rejected,” Apple wrote in an email to McDermott.
He has drawn one conclusion from Apple’s action. “I believe their actions were more than likely homophobic because their reasons were tenuous and vague at best,” he told Xtra, adding that “anything and everything can be offensive—it’s purely subjective.” He also noted that he had self-rated his app at 17-plus to avoid offending children.
According to the developer, Apple has a problem “with gay content and culture.” Following a Google search, McDermott told Xtra that he noticed Apple regularly rejected gay-themed apps.
In 2011, Apple released an “It Gets Better” video, which positively highlights homosexual employees working at Apple.
McDermott now plans to release his app for Android instead.
Photo: Barry McDermott via Xtra