Dragons' Den star Steven Bartlett defended 'crucified' Molly-Mae over 'sexist' backlash

By Kyle O'Sullivan

Molly-Mae Hague has faced a heavy backlash over her controversial comments regarding wealth inequality.

But there is someone on her side - the person responsible for interviewing her on that fateful day.

The Love Island star sparked fury by insisting that "we all have the same 24 hours in a day" and putting her fame and fortune down to the fact she had "worked my arse off to get where I am now".

After being slammed for her "tone deaf" remarks and cruelly trolled online, Molly-Mae issued a grovelling apology to anyone who had "been negatively affected or misunderstood" what she was trying to say.

The 22-year-old influencer had been interviewed on The Diary of a CEO podcast with Steven Bartlett, who made his explosive debut on Dragons' Den last week.

The newest Dragon on the block launched a staunch defence of his guest, claiming that she was "crucified" because she is a woman.

Molly-Mae Hague was interview by Steven Bartlett on his podcast (The Diary Of A CEO /Youtube)

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Steven, who has replaced Tej Lalvani in the Den for the new series, said Molly-Mae was subjected to "double standards" while talking about her career success.

Publicly defending her on Twitter, he wrote: "Molly Mae did an interview on my podcast, yesterday a soundbite from that interview went viral, she trended No.1 on Twitter, every newspaper covered it and MP's weighed in.

"I've had male guests say what she said. No one cared. But when Molly says it, she's crucified? Crazy.

"I've become very aware of the double standard that successful women face.

"If I Interview a man, he can brag about money, take full credit for his success and talk about his cars? If I interview a successful women, she's got to tip toe around her success and watch her words?"

Steven, who himself became a millionaire six years ago at the age of 23, also suggested we should hold Molly-Mae to a lower standard because of her age.

The entrepreneur continued: "Gender issues aside, the standard we hold Molly Mae to as a 22 year-old that's figuring out the world is absolutely outrageous.

"She once said she didn't like Italian food, it trended No.1 all day, was written about in every newspaper and she had to issue a public apology. 22."

Steven is the newest Dragon in the Den (BBC)

Steven himself then received a backlash for his defence of Molly-Mae - with people pointing out that "no one cared" about his other guests because they were not as prominent on social media.

During the interview, the former Islander discussed her early years, social life, how she balancers her time and the downsides to her success.

Describing his guest as "one of the biggest influencers in the world", Steven said he wanted to understand her experience of overnight fame and what she wants to do with it.

In the description for the podcast episode, he wrote: "Molly is someone who is only at the beginning of her journey, and what really came across when she spoke to us was her still unsatiated ambition, and how she’s always looking to achieve more.

"Molly is definitely someone we’re going to be hearing a lot more from, after speaking to her I think I began to understand why."

The controversy surrounding Molly-Mae's comments erupted last week when footage of the podcast interview started circulating on social media.

What most people found aggravating was her remark around everyone having the "same 24 hours in a day" as her.

"You’re given one life and it’s down to you what you do with it. You can literally go in any direction," Molly-Mae told Steven.

"When I've spoken about that in the past I have been slammed a little bit, with people saying 'it's easy for you to say that because you've not grown up in poverty, so for you to sit there and say we all have the same 24 hours in a day is not correct.' But, technically, what I’m saying is correct. We do."

She went on: "I understand we all have different backgrounds and we’re all raised in different ways and we do have different financial situations, but I think if you want something enough you can achieve it.

"It just depends on what lengths you want to go to get where you want to be in the future. And I’ll go to any length."

The Love Island star then added: "I’ve worked my absolute arse off to get where I am now."

Molly-Mae invoked the anger of many on social media, with many highlighting that people earning minimum wage for 12 hour work days are working harder than she is.

Others fumed over the fact that Molly-Mae claims she works hard when she was appointed Creative Director of Pretty Little Thing, which is a company that is owned by Boo Hoo Group, who got busted in 2020 for 'modern day slavery' for paying employees just £3.50 per hour.

Her comments caused some to mock her, with one applying Molly-Mae's logic to other areas of society, tweeting: "If you’re homeless just buy a house.”

Molly-Mae with her boyfriend Tommy Fury (WireImage)

After been hounded on social media, Molly-Mae broke her silence by insisting she never meant to upset anyone.

"I wanted to come back online today as normal but I feel like before I do I just wanted to say this…," she wrote on her Instagram Story.

"When I say or post anything online, it is never with malice or ill intent.

"I completely appreciate that things can affect different people in different ways however I just want to stress that I would never intend to hurt or upset anyone by anything that I say or do."

Molly-Mae apologised for any offence caused by her comments in a heartfelt message to her fans.

She continued: "I apologise to the people that have been affected negatively or misunderstood the meaning of what I said in the podcast, the intentions of the podcast were only ever to tell my story and inspire from my own experience."

Concluding her message, she wrote: "Love to you all, always x."

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