Chris Brown is the latest celebrity to issue a Twitter mea culpa to the LGBT community after using a gay slur. On Tuesday, the singer lashed out at photographers in Los Angeles after getting a ticket for parking illegally, saying, "Y'all n***as is weak. Did you call them to try and film me. Y'all n***as is gay!"
He joins The Voice judges Cee Lo Green and Blake Shelton, both of whom have had to do that same thing in the last month or so.
In his apology, Brown said, “I have total respect for gay community and my intention was not to insult anyone in it.” We might even almost believe Brown if we hadn’t been down this road with him before. In late December, Brown attacked former B2K singer Raz-B on Twitter after he made a critical comment, saying, “N***a you want attention! Grow up n***a!!! D**k in da booty ass lil boy.”
He apologized then too, and all was forgiven. Whatever.
Because there’s no more modern way to convey that you didn’t mean to reinforce hate and encourage violence against an entire segment of the population like a 140-character or less explanation of your actions, the Twitter apology is the new thing.
It’s how Cee Lo Green apologized for lobbing a diss at a critic who panned his concert in Minneapolis.
After reading the review, Cee Lo tweeted, “I respect your criticism but be fair! People enjoyed last night! I'm guessing ur gay? and my masculinity offended u? well f**k U.”
What being gay and/or presumably effeminate has to do with not enjoying his show, we’ll never know.
Anyway, he took to Twitter to apologize too, tweeting, “Apologies gay community! What was homophobic about that? I said I was guessing he [was] gay which is fine but its nice to [know] what u think of me. Nakia and Vicki ‘Team Cee Lo’ are proudly gay and are [my] greatest assets! I'm no bigot or homophobic. [It’s] all a very big misunderstanding.”
(All of Green's tweets have since been deleted.)
It’s the old “I’m not a homophobe, I have gay friends” defense. Which is what it is. Green’s fellow Voice judge Blake Shelton took a similar route after sending out the tweet below.
After declaring that he’d been misunderstood, Shelton also reached out to GLAAD.
Here’s the thing, and it’s simple: If you are not homophobic, STOP USING GAY SLURS AS INSULTS. If you didn’t harbor some sort of internalized negative feelings about gay people, you probably wouldn’t think to turn to a gay slur as a throwaway insult anyway. Right? It’s that easy. Otherwise, yes, yes you are a dictionary-definition homophobe and no one believes you when you say you aren’t. End of story. And you are not absolved because you said “I’m sorry” on Twitter.
We’re more apt to actually believe that Tracy Morgan, who inarguably made the most violently homophobic comments of them all, is sincerely sorry. At a comedy show in Nashville, Tenn., Morgan said he would stab his own son if he turned out to be gay (among many other things). Realizing the weight of his actions, Morgan didn’t take a minute out of his day to tweet, he reached out to GLAAD to volunteer to participate in public service announcements to denounce anti-gay bullying, met with homeless LGBT teens and an activist whose son was killed in a hate crime and returned to Tennessee to apologize in person to the audience he offended. In short, he atoned.
And at least that’s something!