I’d like to think as a whole, that we are moving towards a much more progressive and accepting society where love is seen as love and people are allowed to be themselves.
However, it somehow never fails to surprise me that some people are stuck in their ways and still show a general ignorance towards members of the LGBTQ+ community.
And the sad fact is that while we continue to make the right steps in the correct direction, there is still a fair way to go yet.
Homophobia and transphobia are still as prevalent today as they have ever been and this is not only seen in your day-to-day interactions, but in some of the things celebrities have done and said.
Now in this article, we’ll talk about some of the statements that celebrities have made that have shown a lack of support or respect for members of the LGBTQ+ community as well as how they responded to these allegations.
J.K Rowling – Accusations Of Transphobic Comments
If you were on social media in 2020 it’s unlikely that you haven’t heard about the backlash that J.K Rowling received for some particularly transphobic tweets that she had written.
The Harry Potter author was seen responding on Twitter to a headline that spoke about ‘people who menstruate.’ Her response to this was:
“People who menstruate. I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
This was heavily criticized by fans and members of the LGBTQ+ community for not being inclusive of the transgender community since there are trans women who do not menstruate and trans men who may menstruate but do not identify as female.
Rowling responded by saying that she does respect trans people and that she would march with them should they being descriminated against on the basis of being transgender but that her life is shaped by being female and that she doesn’t believe saying so is hateful.
She also wrote a further essay saying:
“When you throw open the doors of bathrooms[…] to any man who believes or feels he’s a woman […] then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside”.
Kevin Heart – Resurfaced Homophobic Comments
In 2018, Kevin Heart was set to be the next host of the Oscars.
However, this never came to fruition due to previous homophobic comments that resurfaced from 2009-2010.
The comments were in reference to insensitive jokes that were made both in stand-up specials and on Twitter.
One tweet references how Hart would smash a dollhouse over his son’s head should he come out as gay.
While a comedy sketch in his “Seriously Funny” special in 2010 referenced how he would be abusive to his son if he came out as homosexual.
However, Hart did respond by apologizing for remarks he made when he was younger saying that “I am evolving and want to continue to do so.”
Paris Hilton – Audio Found Of Her Criticizing The Gay Community
Back in 2012, Paris came under criticism for an audio recording of her talking about the gay community.
While a member of the LGBTQ+ community showed her his Grindr account (a dating app) she was heard saying “Gay guys are the horniest people in the world. They’re disgusting. Dude, most of them probably have AIDS.”
Obviously, she received backlash for the inappropriate and stigmatized statement though her publicist promised that she wasn’t homophobic.
Later Hilton released an apology stating that she was so sorry and upset that she had:
“Caused pain to my gay friends, fans, and their families. Gay people are the strongest and most inspiring people I know.”
Tracy Morgan – Homophobic Comments In Standup Set
Perhaps there is a running theme with stand-up comedians overstepping the line in their sets, as Tracy Morgan becomes the second on my list for homophobic jokes during a show.
During the set Morgan remarks that “Being gay is a choice” because “God makes no mistakes.” The comic, like hart, also allegedly “joked” that he would stab his son should he come out as gay.
Tracy Morgan faced considerable backlash and did make a half-hearted apology but clearly this wasn’t seen as enough.
He finally issued a formal apology on the Late Show with Letterman saying:
“I am not a hateful person and don’t condone any kind of violence against others[…] this clearly went too far and was not funny in any context.”
Sarah Silverman – Used A Gay Slur In A Tweet In 2010
While commenting on an episode of the Bachelorette back in 2010 Sarah Silverman tweeted “I don’t mean this in a hateful way but the new bachelorette’s a f—-“.
While this didn’t receive any real criticism at the time, it was resurfaced during 2018.
Although many were using this tweet in response to Kevin Hart stepping down form the Oscars, saying that the same treatment was needed for all.
Sarah Silverman responded saying that she was “done with that” and that:
“I can find other ways to be funny. […] We’d go ‘That’s what you say in Boston. I have gay friends. I just say gay.’ And then I heard myself, and I realized I was like the guy who’d say, ‘What? I say Colored. I have colored friends’ I realized it’s stupid, and I’m certainly creative enough to think of other words besides that that don’t hurt people”
Eminem – Criticized For Gay Slurs In His Songs
Eminem has caused controversy from the moment that he started his career, and he has often been criticized for his use of gay slurs within his songs.
This has happened on several occasions.
For example, in 2018, Eminem released a song called “The Fall” where he says “Tyler create nothin’, I see why you called yourself a f—-t, b—.”
But despite the heavy criticism Eminem insists that he is not homophobic.
The rapper told Vulture “The honest-to-God truth is that none of that matters to me […] I hate the idea that a kid who’s gay might get s— for it.”
Mel Gibson – Mocked How Gay Men Act
During an interview with a Spanish newspaper back in 2001 Mel Gibson mocked the way that homosexual men act.
He was criticized for his harsh comments and attitude towards gay men.
In the interview he said:
“With this look, who’s going to think I’m gay? I don’t lend myself to that type of confusion. Do I look like a homosexual? Do I talk like them? Do I move like them?”
However, there was no official apology from Gibson. In fact, the very opposite. He responded saying:
“I’ll apologize when hell freezes over. They can f— off.”
Alec Baldwin – Homophobic Twitter Rant
Back in 2013 Alec Baldwin got into a Twitter argument with a reporter George Stark.
Stark had recently written an article about Baldwin’s wife accusing her of tweeting during a funeral.
The Twitter exchange got a little heated and Baldwin referred to Stark as a “toxic little queen” amongst many other comments.
Baldwin did not initially apologise for calling Stark a “queen” stating that:
“A queen to me has a different meaning. It’s somebody who’s just above. It doesn’t have any necessarily sexual connotations.”
However, not long after, an official apology was issued stating that:
“As someone who fights against homophobia, I apologize […] my attack on Mr. Start in no way was the result of homophobia.”
Chris Brown – Using Homophobic Language
Chris Brown and Raz, two rappers, got into an altercation on Twitter.
Raz made a comment regarding the assault case with Rihanna, and Brown bit back referencing that Raz was molested by another man as a child and called him a “#homothug.”
It didn’t take long before Brown tweeted “I’m not homophobic! He’s just disrespectful, BTW…I love all my gay fans and this immature act is not targeted at you!”
Azealia Banks – History Of Homophobic Comments
Banks has quite the history of making homophobic comments and slurs. In 2015, a video surfaced of her arguing with both a passenger and a flight attendant.
In the video she is heard saying a homophobic slur. Her comments on the incident were “I don’t care. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.”
Debate about Banks sparked up again a year later when she attacked former One Direction member Zayn Malik on twitter also using homophobic slurs.
She also told the LGBTQ+ community that they were “the gay white KKK. Get some pink hoods and unicorns and rally down rodeo drive.”
However Banks did later confirm that she would not be using the slur again saying “It’s just me realizing that words hurt.”
Many celebrities have made comments that show that they have not always had the initial support and intentions for the LGBTQ+ community that they should have.
Though I would like to think that for many of the examples used today, the celebrities have been able to grow and change from their previous misconceptions.
But what do you think? Do you think that the apologies are genuine? Or is it just PR trying to sustain their careers?