Carol Channing | Film | Jennifer Hudson | News | Religion

Jennifer Hudson Won't Judge People for What They Do

Jhud_1Newly-minted Dreamgirls diva Jennifer Hudson stepped into precarious territory (as both Carol Channing and fellow American Idol contestant Mandisa well know) in an interview with the Dallas Voice in which the ingenue was asked about the Bible and homosexuality:

As a Baptist who’s singing at circuit party, has Hudson reconciled her spiritual beliefs and her gay fan base? Does she support same-sex marriage?
“Nobody has ever asked me these questions,” she says.
“Everybody sins,” Hudson continues. “No sin is greater or different than the other. To each his own. If it don’t bother Jennifer, then Jennifer don’t mind. I don’t really even think about it because I don’t believe in judging people for what they do.”

When referencing themselves, lots of divas probably do that schizophrenic thing where they toggle between first and third person. But did Hudson just say that being gay is a sin?

“According to the way we’re taught, and what it says in the Bible — it is,” Hudson says.

If her answers didn’t already sound like fundamentalist clichés, Hudson then added, “I have plenty of gay friends.”

A writer fishing for some controversy in a topic which has already ensnared one American Idol contestant (Mandisa was sent packing soon after her interest in Bible-thumping Beth Moore was uncovered) and a seasoned performer (Carol Channing's recent BibleGate)?

Considering what Hudson told New York's gay mag. HX ("I think the world of the gay community, and I feel like it’s an honor. The gay community is the hardest community to please, so if they love me, I must be fierce, honey.") and the Carol Channing misinformation, we'll put this scandal on hold before jumping to any conclusions.

ADDENDUM: Hudson responds:

In a recent interview, I was asked how I reconciled being a Christian with performing at events for my gay fans. I find it upsetting that some folks equate being a Christian with being intolerant of gay people. That may, unfortunately, be true for some, but it is not true for me. I have talked often of my love and support of the gay community. I have said again and again that it was the gay community that supported me long before and long after AMERICAN IDOL, and kept me working and motivated. It is the gay community that celebrated my voice and my size and my personality long before DREAMGIRLS. Yes, I was raised Baptist. Yes, I was taught that the Bible has certain views on homosexuality. The Bible also teaches us not to judge. It teaches on homosexuality. The Bible also teaches us not to judge. It teaches us to love one another as God loves us all. I love my sister, my two best friends and my director dearly. They happen to be gay. So what? While some search for controversy, I hope that my friends and fans who know me, know where I stand."

Related articles
Jennifer Hudson Not Judging Her Gay Fans On Their Lifestyle Sins [defamer]
Once upon a Dreamgirl [the advocate]
Boys, She'll Make You Happy [hx]

You may have missed...
Jennifer Holliday: "I'm Not Going" [tr]
Dreamgirls: A Review — In a Dazzling Adaptation, Jennifer Hudson Rockets to Fame [tr]

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  1. I think she was completely unprepared for the question (by her own admission) and she handled it as best she could based on where she comes from. I truly believe she has no problem with gay people. But she also knows what the bible says. And basically she just said "it's not up to me, it's up to god." Unfortunately, she used the word "sin" which isn't putting her best foot forward, but she explained herself the best way she knows how. I actually feel sorry for her a little. By all accounts, she's incredibly sweet. And you cannot compare Mandisa's horrible remarks or even the diatribe by Kim English to this. Mandisa is a homophobe and Kim English is a seasoned pro who didn't seem to understand where her bread was buttered. She should have known better.

    Posted by: Jonathan | Dec 7, 2006 12:05:26 PM

  2. I couldn't be more bored by Hudson. I'll take the crazy "difficult" Holliday over her any day.

    Posted by: jjabely | Dec 7, 2006 12:05:45 PM

  3. topic...why does the gay community seem to idolize, embrace and live for the warblings of homophobic black female recording artists at a higher standard than butch black gay men? ...and before anyone gets their panties in a wad, i'm just asking because i'm actually curious what people think...

    Posted by: yeahisaidit | Dec 7, 2006 12:06:34 PM

  4. Thursday, December 7th, which I thought was Pearl Harbor Day, turns out to be National Pussy Day. If she cares so much about her gays fans then she should be careful what she says in interviews [again assuming she was quoting accurately] that could be misinterpreted by those less "loving." What part of "What celebrities say have a great deal of influence on what their fans think and DO"? It shouldn't necessarily BE that way, but it is. That's why what Eminem sings about is important, even tho he was ok enough with "the fags" to do a duet with Elton John. How much did those five minutes influence his millions of fans versus their piping his hate-filled lyrics over and over and over into their heads with their iPods?

    Bless her, Hudson is almost to the opposite end of the spectrum, but labeling it sin reinforces that POTENTIALLY inflammatory nonsense to her fans who haven't set foot in a church in years but still have/had their value systems shaped by religion--most importantly what they DO with it, whether it simply be voting against us in their polling place or killing us in their parks. No, I don't give a flying fuck who hates me, but it is only common sense to be vigilant about those who fly off at the mouth about it without thinking of its possible ramifications. That's why yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater is legally actionable not just free speech. America has turned into an anxious "crowded theater" vis-a-vis gay rights and safety. She's not yelling "Sin!" of course, but if Eminem's lyrics and those of Benjie Man or whatever the fuck his name is, and those of other homophobic reggae "artists" are important—and they are—then what people say in interviews is, too. She is an "influencer" whether you believe/like it or not. So, yes, it IS important to know and discourage. I seem to recall that when Channing was accused, many here flamed her. I guess if one is not a young diva or a hot man then you're subject to different standards than those who are.

    Posted by: Leland | Dec 7, 2006 12:09:56 PM

  5. Is people cared about the "other sins" and tried to pass laws preventing eating shell fish, playing with a pigskin, and working on saturday, then I wouldn't care. We seem to be the one "sin" everyone still cares about. And it's mostly because of incorrect interpretations of the Bible. There is a plethora of information available about how many of the anti-gay passages have been mis-translated over the centuries by people with a personal problem with homosexuality. Using a potentially incorrect book as an excuse for thinking what two people who love each other do is wrong (but doesn't bother you) is hypocritically and lazy.
    Religion should never be an excuse for should be the solution.

    Posted by: chrisnyc | Dec 7, 2006 12:15:18 PM

  6. ^
    That's simple. The gay community at large is more than happy to portray masculine black men as extinct while promoting the stereotype of their undesirably effiminate counterparts. How better to marginalize them on the basis of race even more than usual, and choose to see nothing in common?

    Interesting, we should reserve judgement on Hudson, yet immediately twist Holliday's words against her and assume she's steamed because nobody let her play a teenager.

    Posted by: 000000 | Dec 7, 2006 12:15:24 PM

  7. "So, yes, it IS important to know and discourage. I seem to recall that when Channing was accused, many here flamed her. I guess if one is not a young diva or a hot man then you're subject to different standards than those who are."

    Oh please Leland. Be it a grandmother figure or some guy folk want to bone, they are entertainers. They pass no laws and don't set policy. So what comes out of their mouths is really of no import. People can get all bent out of shape by what these folk say (free speech for all), but I would rather spend time dealing with people who have actual power. Not some famous person who can only get mentioned on Page 6.

    Posted by: James | Dec 7, 2006 12:24:10 PM

  8. This girl is in a precarious situation. It must be difficult to be famous, and try to sell a movie to mainstream America (which is mostly homophobic middle american white trash) while being true to yourself. She loves the gays. If ever there was a "fag hag", Id say Jennifer Hudson was the epitome of one..but should she come out with a rainbow flag and make all of middle america hate her before they even know who she is?

    Posted by: Chris | Dec 7, 2006 12:32:16 PM

  9. James, you're a dangerous moron. How is her publicly saying it's sin any less important than Jerry Falwell saying it's sin. Or do you think his isn't either?

    Eva Gabor wigs off to Lavi for making the point I left out. I'm not calling for her head [yet], but someone should attempt to educate her. Nota Bene she did not retract or deny having said it is a sin on her site. Hasn't, apparently, demanded a retraction/correction by the magazine. Why don't you try to interview her, Andy? You'd be much better, in a kind way, at getting her to say exactly what she means, or doesn't. Then we can decide an appropriate response—or none. And, either way, the castrati residents of Rebecca's Sunnybrook Farm can continue living in their fantasy world.

    Posted by: Leland | Dec 7, 2006 12:33:36 PM

  10. To my ears she just sounds plain ol' stupid: No sin is greater or different than the other. Where did she get that idea? She hasn't thought about this at all. Is she unmarried and having sex too? Her "beliefs" are not merely unexamined, they are like costume jewelry. In her defense, she is probably not a Southern Baptist, since they were essentially segregationists. Black Baptist churches, which range from liberal to conservative, have a different history. She had best communicate only through her music and performances.

    Posted by: Anon | Dec 7, 2006 12:34:11 PM

  11. "No, I don't give a flying fuck who hates me, but it is only common sense to be vigilant about those who fly off at the mouth about it without thinking of its possible ramifications."

    Leland, with all due respect (and that's sincere, not glib) you and I have both had our moments when we have flown off at the mouth without thinking of the ramifications.

    Haven't we?

    Now I totally agree that celebrities do have influence on some of the populace and yes, we should pay attention to what direction the wind blows in the court of public opinion.

    But I think you are setting a standard that is so high as to be nearly unreachable: Celebrities must be perfect and flawless in every action they take and every word that comes out of their (many times) young and naive mouths.

    That is just not the world we live in and when we are able to take this kind of instance with a grain of salt instead of grabbing our torches and pitchforks, then we can help educate celebrities on how their words can sometimes have the wrong effect.

    No, it's not National Pussy Day. I prefer to think of it as Put Down the Stone Day.

    Posted by: mark m | Dec 7, 2006 12:38:10 PM

  12. This is so tiresome.

    Posted by: Daniel | Dec 7, 2006 12:51:51 PM

  13. Love the addendum: Her PR dept. really flew into action on this one.

    Posted by: Mike | Dec 7, 2006 12:52:01 PM

  14. Why should we even give a damn what she thinks about gay people?

    Posted by: Karim | Dec 7, 2006 12:55:28 PM

  15. She's a very young woman from a Christian background. We've got real issues in the world to worry about--why are our gay magazines digging up controversy like this when gay people are vanishing in Iraq, being executed in various places around the world, when our rights are being voted away all over our country, and we are still being bashed regularly. It's all a silly distraction.

    Posted by: Daniel | Dec 7, 2006 12:59:10 PM

  16. I'm not seeing where she has said that she believes homosexuality is a sin. Granted, I am only using the quotes posted on this blog; perhaps somewhere else she has said this.

    What she has said is that she was taught that the Bible has certain views on homosexuality. And it does. Just because she was taught something, though, doesn't mean that she's incorporated it into her daily life.

    Posted by: Mike B. | Dec 7, 2006 1:00:07 PM

  17. I'm very disappointed to see that yet another "celeb" with "big" gay following thinks we are sick sinners. Unless she claims the interview was all made-up, I am done with her. Just like I am done with Mandisa, Mel Gibson (for both anti-Semitism and homophobia), Michael Richards...

    Posted by: Queer Beacon | Dec 7, 2006 1:01:35 PM

  18. You guys are utterly ridiculous! Her own sister is a lesbian. I truly don't feel that she hates gay people. The gay community tries to seek acceptance/admiration from everyone, but that's not what it's about. Personally, I just want to be viewed as an equal. I grew up as an african-american male in a southern bapist church; I understand Hudson's logic. The truth, everyone does sin. The bible does not place any emphasis on which sin is greater, except for the commandments. I had a difficult time battling my belief in religion and my desires. Let's use some caution before we all get up in arms about one comment that she has made. Hell, my best friend is straight and we have argued over gay rights and whether or not I was sinner, but I still love him and he still loves me. It's ok to have different views.

    Posted by: Jahon | Dec 7, 2006 1:02:21 PM

  19. Who the hell is this woman and why the hell should I care whether or not she likes me?

    Posted by: tjc | Dec 7, 2006 1:03:16 PM

  20. Oh NO... another day of fits. It amazes me how people latch onto one sentence...a alledged quote they were not witness to when alledgedly uttered...a statement that could be missing a critical "however...". Anyone with half a brain wouldn't fall for media quotes...they're one sided until the interviewee responds. The addendum paragraph...if I must embrace any of it...satisfies me. Give the lady a break. SOME OF YOU ARE MEAN, WACK-MOUTHED BITCHES...always ready to boil someone in your jaded brew. Again, I say: karma is a motherfucker.

    Posted by: CaliNexus | Dec 7, 2006 1:07:22 PM

  21. "James, you're a dangerous moron. How is her publicly saying it's sin any less important than Jerry Falwell saying it's sin. Or do you think his isn't either?"

    Ooooooh, Daddy. Tell me more. I just thought I was a moron as opposed to being a "dangerous moron." I could continue the name calling,but I'll answer your question. Rev. Falwell talks to presidents and runs organizations that seek to pass anti-gay laws. Ms. Hudson only sings songs (bad ones at that....grin). Therefore when Rev. Falwell opens is mouth it's time to say something and speak up. As for the political musings of Ms.Hudson, I could care less. Any other questions for this "dangerous moron" Mr. Leland?

    peace to you and yours

    Posted by: James | Dec 7, 2006 1:07:26 PM

  22. What she is saying is basically exactly what Jimmy Carter said about homosexuality in his recent book "Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis". In the book he said that, according to the Bible, homosexuality is a sin...and then he ripped into the fundamentalists for elevating homosexuality to a sin greater than adultery or other 'lower level' sins. He wrote about the fact that we are all sinners in certain ways and that one sin should not be judged as more abhorrent than another sin...nor should any 'type' of sinner be judged. And he made it very clear that he believed GLBT people deserved the same protections under law as the rest of American citizens.

    Hudson is basiclly saying the same thing: that we are all sinners, but that the Bible teaches us not to judge. I think her overall message is one of the need to love others and not judge them.

    I have no problem with what Jennifer has said.

    Posted by: peterparker | Dec 7, 2006 1:33:49 PM

  23. What part of "Everybody sins" are people not reading here? She's putting every man, woman, and child in the same sinful boat to Hell. Pull up a mai tai with me and get over it.

    Yeah, it's a religious thing. Religions teach a lot of wacky things. Eating pork is wrong. Not having children is punishable in the afterlife. Disobedient children should be stoned. The unborn are fully alive, and your troubles already start there, since when you're born, you're born into sin. And, yes, homosex is a sin. This is news to, exactly?

    Don't shoot the messenger. Religion is not pick-and-mix what you like about it and ignore the rest. That's apostasy, or you find a religion Brand X that doesn't tell you to avoid lobster and buttsecks.

    If she singled out Teh Gays and was overtly contemptuous, that would be one thing and easily solved: $$$ elsewhere.

    However, she did not, but the interviewer tried to make it seem like she did. Nor did she get on a soapbox and go out of her way to denounce gays. The reporter fished for it.

    "Everybody sins," she said. For all of our talk about inclusiveness, we sure like to single ourselves out.

    Posted by: AG | Dec 7, 2006 1:37:30 PM

  24. Man I guess you really can't fuck with the Knowles - Mama Tina put a creole spell on Ms Hudson and it seems to be working... oh to be so easily manipulated.

    BTW - The bible does say that homosexuality is a sin - it also says that the universe was created in six days - so what? Hudson is clearly not a homophobe and to imply otherwise is ridiculous.

    Posted by: Giovanni | Dec 7, 2006 1:40:18 PM

  25. off topic, but I find it amusing that people post dozens of comments on what a celebrity singer said about being gay compared to 23 regarding homosexual "genocide" in the Middle East. Seems we, as a "gay" society, may have our priorities confused...

    Posted by: Cory | Dec 7, 2006 1:41:00 PM

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