Ne-Yo retracts ‘publicist’s’ apology for comments on trans children: ‘My opinion is mine’
Just hours after seemingly apologising for making contentious remarks about trans children, Ne-Yo has now backtracked in an Instagram video clarifying his position “straight from the horse’s mouth”.
The Grammy-winning recording artist, whose real name Shaffer Chimere Smith, made headlines after a recent interview with Gloria Velez on VladTV, during which he said parents have “forgotten their role” when it comes to stopping their children making a “life-changing decision” around their gender.
The singer faced a backlash after the remarks, in which he also compared trans identity to “identifying as a goldfish”.
On Sunday (6 August,) he seemingly expressed his “deepest apologies” on social media in a statement which read: “Gender identity is nuanced and I can honestly admit that I plan to better educate myself on the topic, so I can approach future conversations with more empathy. At the end of the day, I lead with love and support everyone’s freedom of expression and pursuit of happiness.”
However, in an Instagram video the following day, the “So Sick” singer, having deleted the apology from his page, doubled-down on his original perspective, claiming Sunday’s message came straight from the “publicist’s computer”.
He said: “First and foremost, I did not apologise for having an opinion on this matter. “I am a 43-year-old heterosexual man raising five boys and two girls. That’s my reality.
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“If my opinion offended somebody, yeah, sure, I apologise for you being offended because that wasn’t my intention. My intention is never to offend anybody.
“However, I’m entitled to feel how I feel. I am absolutely entitled to feel how I feel, the same way you are entitled to feel how you feel.”
He reiterated that he had “no beef with the LBGTQIA+ community”, adding that they can “do what you want to with your kids”.
But he added: “I will never be OK with allowing a child to make a decision that detrimental to their life. I will never be OK with that.
“I definitely plan to educate myself a little bit more on this matter. However, I doubt that there is any book anywhere or any opinion that someone is going to tell me that is somehow going to make me OK with letting a child make a decision like that.”
He concluded the video by saying that he was prepared to be “cancelled” for his opinion.
“Maybe this is a world where they don’t need a Ne-Yo no more, and I ain’t got no problem with that. I’m a hustler, alright? I’ll figure it out.
“I love everybody. Live how you want to live. Love how you want to love, but your opinion is yours. Speak your opinion as much as you damn well feel like it, because as I said, they’re not special.”
He accompanied the post with a caption, echoing the words from the video: ” I will not be bullied into apologising for having an opinion. Agreeing to disagree is not a declaration of war.”
“My intention is never to offend anybody… but my opinion is mine and I’m entitled to it. I don’t care what y’all do with yours. That’s yours. This is how I feel.”
He later added that he would love his kids regardless of how they identified when they were “old enough and mature enough to make that decision”.
“Daddy is still daddy and he loves you regardless. But this isn’t even a discussion until they are mentally mature enough to have such a discussion.”
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