Ben Shapiro criticised for denouncing ‘lesbians on the moon’ as reason for Artemis 1 launch delays

·2 min read

Right-wing podcaster Ben Shapiro has sparked criticism on social media for denouncing “lesbians on the moon” as the reason for Artemis 1 launch delays.

Discussing President Joe Biden’s equity agenda on The Ben Shapiro Show last week, Mr Shapiro claimed that the president was poised to enforce his diversity ideals in “every area of his administration, down to the stupidest parts of it,” including Nasa’s staffing, LGBTQNation first reported.

And while the government agency has explained Artemis 1 launch delays on technical issues and weather forecasts, the conservative pundit had another, rather bizarre, theory: Nasa is too busy trying to hire lesbians.

“Lesbians on the moon!” Mr Shapiro said mockingly during the episode. “This is what we need, it sounds like a bad pornography.”

Mr Shapiro suggested instead, that the space force should hire “the most qualified people that we ought to send to space,” seemingly disregarding the role of trailblazer physicist Sally Ride, who in 1983 became the first American woman to fly in space and was acknowledged as the first gay Nasa astronaut after her death in 2012.

“According to CNN, the launch of Nasa’s historic Artemis I moon mission has been postponed after the team was unable to work through an issue with one of the rocket’s four engines,” Mr Shapiro said on the podcast.

“But, the really, really important thing is that when we do go to the moon, we have to have a lesbian on the moon.”

Twitter users rushed to criticise Mr Shapiro’s remarks and accused him of sexualising lesbians and disregarding the impact of diversity in government agencies.

User Kristen Keifer took a jab at Mr Shapiro, tweeting: “Who is going to tell him that we’ve been launching lesbians into space for longer than he’s been alive?”

“Very telling that Ben doesn’t think lesbians exist in every facet of the workforce and not just his fantasies,” @MaxineViolet also tweeted.

Mr Shapiro also criticised Vice President Kamala Harris’s remarks about the Artemis 1 programme on Sunday that she had met with women and people of colour from the space force, but it remains unclear why he denounced the hiring of lesbians as a reason for the delays on the launch of Artemis 1.

The second attempt to launch Artemis 1 on 3 September was scrubbed after Nasa failed to fix a leak. A new tentative launch date for the moon rocket has been set for early October.

While the Orion crew capsule will be empty, if the journey is successful, a trip with humans on board is to come, including the first woman and first person of colour to fly to the moon.