Cee Lo Green Apologizes, Explains His Gay Tweet

Late last week singer Cee Lo Green sent a tweet to Andrea Swensson, a female writer from City Pages in Minneapolis who published a negative review of his recent show in that city and whom apparently Green initially assumed was male.

Clg The tweet to Swensson: "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!"

Swensson herself calls the tweet "just plain weird."

Green has since deleted the message from his Twitter account and has apologized via a subsequent tweet which has also been deleted:

“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.”

Green has given Us Magazine a lengthy explanation about the entire incident: 

"She was very critical of me. At the time I didn't even know what gender the person was. I was being a little outspoken that night, a little outrageous," he tells Us. "I always expect people to assume that everything I do is part of my character and sense of humor. I assumed that whoever it was would assume it was all in good fun. It wasn't taken so well, apparently."

"I most certainly am not harboring any sort of negative feeling toward the gay community. I don't have an opinion on people with different religious, sexual or political preferences," he explains. "I'm one of the most liberal artists that I think you will ever meet, and I pride myself on that. Two of the remaining members that I have on my team on The Voice are proud and outspokenly gay. We just did a team performance of 'Everyday People,' and I picked that song for us to do specifically to highlight how we can get along even though we’re so different."

Though he regrets his choice of words, Green tells Us he shouldn't "have to apologize for speaking my mind or defending my performance."

"If I could take it all back, I would. I was not being serious," he says. "I just wanted to defend our performance. It was only our third show with a whole new crew and we were all really proud about the progress that we had made."


  1. Jesse says

    He must have been really crunk. Generally, short fat ugly trolls aren’t generally considered the height of masculinity. Although, I suppose some are and have their admirers. Cee-lo; however, is NOT one of them. F-u cee-lo. The Voice is a mess of a show. Would be shocked if it was renewed, If so, two of the judges definitely need not be invited back next year.

  2. rustytrawler says

    “I picked that song for us to do specifically to highlight how we can get along even though we’re so different.”

    That is exactly the problem, Cee Lo. You are treating homos as aliens. Get right with yourself.

  3. nic says

    the ones invited back should be adam levine and cristina. blake shelton can suck my cock in hell.

  4. Matthew says

    Even if this weren’t homophobic it would still be sexist at best. What’s he thinking?

  5. tim says

    “Just wanted to defend our performance..” By attacking the critic? Calling him/her gay? Besides, anyone who has to profess his masculinity is obviously gay. Just weird.

  6. Brian in Texas says

    The show has been renewed and NBC selected it to premiere after the 2012 Super Bowl. All judges will be back.

  7. Tim NC says

    Sounds like the same attitude as the basketball players. Someone says something to them that offends them and the first response that comes into their heads to say something offensive back at the other person is to call them gay.

    Why is it that calling someone gay is the first “insult” that always comes to these guys minds?

  8. says

    I hate when people use the word “preference” when talking about sexuality. It implies there’s a choice. If there needs to be any word other than “GAY”, I’d rather people used “orientation”…

    It’s like using “tolerance” instead of “acceptance.” I don’t know about all of you, but I’m DONE being “tolerated.”

  9. Pete n SFO says

    And even if the reviewer were gay, why exactly would that person be offended by overt masculinity?

    Face it, dude, you don’t even understand YOUR OWN prejudices!

    Seriously, these dimwitted people are EXHAUSTING!!!

  10. downtownla says

    I actually don’t know much about Cee-Lo, except his song and the Voice, but he does have two gay members (out of 4) on his team and I would not be surprised if those are the two that advance to the next round. I don’t think this case is like Tracy Morgan and I think we can cut some folks some slack, even if what they say is offensive or just coming from a place of heterosexual privilege. Yes, he may have misspoke, but let’s not treat him as the enemy. A friendly correction and explanation is all that may be needed here.

  11. Jedi says

    @ Kevin,

    Yup, I picked up on Cee Lo Green’s use of the word “preference,” too.

    But, look, people, despite Cee Lo’s inappropriate Tweetburst, I, for one, don’t think he’s homophobic. Ignorant, maybe. But homophobic. Nah.

    Now let’s all relax and enjoy the rest of our weekend but before you log off, listen to this joyous, frolick-in-the-meadows, feel-good song by none other than the masculine crooner, himself, Cee Lo Green: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58fD_UaSyo4

  12. Grover Underwood says

    how many men are named Andrea? I think I’ve known two Andreas and they were both female

  13. AllBeefPatty says

    Note to Cee Lo,

    You are a highly unattractive man and your mouth makes you even uglier.

  14. huh? says

    “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!”

    “Apologies gay community! What was homophobic about that?”

    Assuming gay men can’t or aren’t masculine. That is what was homophobic about that.

  15. jj says

    I’m not following how his tweet is homophobic. It sounds like he was perplexed (asking a question) – as “If you’re gay, how is me acting overtly masculine offending you?” It’s a stupid statement (a little ignorant) but not homophobic.

  16. Jedi says


    Yes, I’m sure Cee Lo is logging on to towleroad.com and reading your (puerile) message…

    Apology accepted, by the way, Cee Lo, if you’re reading this.

  17. allan says

    Black men hate the gays. Those poor sodding down low brothers have some serious issues.

  18. Bryan says

    “I was being a little outspoken that night, a little outrageous…”

    I can’t wait to work Stepin Fetchit and jungle bunnies with bones through their noses screaming “Ooga Booga!” into my act. It’ll be outspoken, it’ll be outrageous, and of course it’ll be ok because, like, you know… Some of my best friends are negroes.

  19. Rick in Cincinnati says

    What I take umbrage with is his belief the gay automatically equals effeminate and the idea that an effeminate person should be offended by masculinity. Some gays are more traditionally masculine, while others are effeminate, while others still lie somewhere in between. There’s no reason to feel threatened or offended by anyone along the spectrum.

  20. redball says

    Thanks for confirming the racism that so many readers of Towleroad have come to expect on a post like this. Ignorant fool.

  21. Hollywood, CA says

    Cee-Low… that was wrong, man. You are FAT and BLACK, you should be the last person throwing out names at folks. You have a lot of gay fans that I hope can forgive your ULTIMATE STUPIDITY! Next time, just apologize and don’t try to explain it. There is no excuse, and you are ROTTED.

  22. Michael says

    Some of you have asked why the tweet was homophobic. Perhaps it wasn’t since I can read it a few different ways, especially since he’s responding to something said in the critique. The ambiguity doesn’t matter. If you use twitter…be a little more effing clear about what you tweet. If 50 characters(or whatever) isn’t enough to get your point across clearly and without the potential for misinterpretation, then shut the eff up. I don’t feel bad for artists who have been misinterpreted tweets. If you choose to communicate via that mode of communication, the onus is upon you to be clear and succinct.

  23. just_a_guy says

    Before all this, I might have heard the following clip someone posted above and liked it:

    As it is, the clip makes me throw up in my mouth. Gross.

    This dude has got to go. What a hater. Half-ass apology can’t undo what he did. Sorry. He just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I have him casually marked in my head for never-buy and avoid. I suspect others feel the same way.

    And if u listen to his lyrics, what a fake. What a pretender. So lacking cred.

    next please.

  24. Jeff says

    Ok just to make sure I have it right Cee Lo and Skee Lo are different rappers…one wishes he were a little bit taller wished he were a baller and wished he had a girl that looked good, he would call her and the other one is an ass.

  25. Francis says

    Do I feel he was legitimately trying to kid around? Yes. Was his joke homophobic? Yes.

    He thought (assumed, really) that person that was critical of his musical review was gay. Which is irrelevant, and there isn’t any reason for him to bring it up. The issue comes where he says “offended by your masculinity.” So, gay men aren’t real men? Gay men are taken back by “masculinity”? Gay men can’t be masculine themselves?

    I don’t think he meant to offend, and I doubt he’s homophobic, but that’s the issue. People like Cee-Lo are too ignorant and unaware to comprehend why what they say is offensive, so they become unintentionally homophobic in action. It’s one thing to apologize. It’s another thing entirely to truly change what’s inside your heart. Hopefully he understands and has someone in his ear who can explain to him why what he said wasn’t appropriate.

  26. adam says

    Cee Lo Green is in damage control. His agent must have been on his back about it. In my view, he’s homophobic.

    Why on earth is supposed gay advocate Christina Aguilera collaborating with him? Shame on you, Christina.

  27. says

    “She-Lo” is about as masculine as as Debbie Reynolds. That screeching, high-pitched voice sounds like three cats in heat.

  28. jj777 says

    Genesis 2:24 For this reason a MAN will leave his father and mother and be united to his WIFE, and they will become one flesh. Stop apologizing if you say what you mean and mean what you say.

  29. daws says

    It’s hard to apply reason to ignorant comments. It sounded homophobic too me. After reading Andrea’s article, I don’t even know why he said that. What does gay and masculinity have to do with it? I love how he named the gay people he’s associated with though. That seems to be the standard thing. “But I love the gays! Here look…this gay guy works for me…what’s your name again?”

  30. says

    Black men hate the gays. Those poor sodding down low brothers have some serious issues.

    Posted by: allan | Jun 19, 2011 2:26:09 PM

    queen I think you need to go find Ken Melhman! Ask him why he hates the gays?

  31. Paulie says

    Speaking of homophobic artists…an up-and-coming Canadian rapper named Reema Major sent out this tweet on June 9th:

    “When i say no homo i mean it. Thats not disrespectful thats honest, I respect yur opinion so respect mine wit that being said.. NO FKN HOMO!”

    Although she’s not well known yet, I did some googling and found out that she’s “backed by Jimmy Iovine. The Interscope-Geffen-A&M chairman signed Reema to her U.S. record deal in 2010.” So we’ll probably be hearing more from her within the next year or two.

  32. Ryon Mikeska says

    Personally, I’m not offended. Although, every time I see Cee-Lo, he’s looking more and more like a Fat Diddy.