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Stevie Wonder Apologizes For Comments On Frank Ocean

StevieStevie Wonder has apologized for the rather disappointing quote he gave The Guardian about the coming-out of singer Frank Ocean. When asked earlier this week about Frank Ocean, Wonder said:

I think honestly, some people who think they're gay, they're confused. People can misconstrue closeness for love. People can feel connected, they bond. I'm not saying all [gay people are confused]. Some people have a desire to be with the same sex. But that's them.

Sure -- some people do get confused about sexualty. (I did. My first love was a girl.) But for an honest-to-goodness American national treasure to respond in such a way to the first-time-in-history coming out of a hip-hop/R&B star was dispiriting, and suggested that maybe Mr. Wonder wasn't entirely comfortable with Frank Ocean's gayness.

Mr. Wonder has tried to clear things up with a statement to The Advocate:

I’m sorry that my words about anyone feeling confused about their love were misunderstood. No one has been a greater advocate for the power of love in this world than I; both in my life and in my music. Clearly, love is love, between a man and a woman, a woman and a man, a woman and a woman and a man and a man. What I’m not confused about is the world needing much more love, no hate, no prejudice, no bigotry and more unity, peace and understanding. Period.

Does that settle it?

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Comments

  1. Another, "I'm-sorry-if-my-words-offended-anyone" apology. Whatever.

    National treasure? Really?

    Posted by: Brad | Sep 1, 2012 2:22:21 PM


  2. Why are the Gay people the only ones that ever seem to be confused? While the world is in such a mess and run by the clear thinking well adjusted not confused heterosexuals? Mr Wonder, I appreciate you are indeed an advocate for peace and love, but you seem to be confused about how it will come about. Are all musicians so confused about love?

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Sep 1, 2012 2:26:38 PM


  3. My brother like Stevie Wonder(read his autobiography) was sexually abused by a man as a teen. For a few years in his late teens my brother thought he was gay because he enjoyed the sexual experience and the bond/intimacy with his abuser (our minister).Although he was always attracted to females even before the abuse. He was confused.IT happens. Stevie never said Frank was confused and Frank has never stated he was Gay to my knowledge

    Posted by: Kim | Sep 1, 2012 2:30:37 PM


  4. Stupid sh*t comes out of people's mouths all the time. Depending on the person, context, generation, etc, one must gauge what the appropriate response is. Obviously, what he said was disappointing and ridiculous, to say the least. Frankly, in his case, I figure he must have been smoking something when he said that, because the words are so OUT OF LINE with who he is as a person and what he stands for as a musician.

    Stevie Wonder IS a national treasure. And, if you don't know that, then study up. Please try not to have a knee-jerk reaction to someone whose heart is golden. This world would be a sadder place without Stevie Wonder and 70s (and 60s) music would never have been the same.

    In his particular case, I'd personally prefer to focus on what he said in his followup.

    Frank Ocean's retweet from yesterday: "in the practice of tolerance, ones enemy is the best teacher" - dalai lama"

    In answer to your last question, Brandon, for me, yes, that settles it.

    Posted by: Cinesnatch | Sep 1, 2012 2:43:47 PM


  5. And, Kim, is also correct. I've known straight guys who were confused sexually because of male-on-male physical abuse from their childhood. It happens. And, the disappointing and ridiculousness in the context of Wonder is the way it came out.

    Posted by: Cinesnatch | Sep 1, 2012 2:46:18 PM


  6. The man isn't even allowed to apologize.

    If he released a video of himself tearfully recanting his statements you'd probably criticize the lighting.

    Posted by: sigh-er | Sep 1, 2012 2:47:43 PM


  7. *hugs to stevie*

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Sep 1, 2012 2:49:40 PM


  8. "No one has been a greater advocate for the power of love in this world than I..."

    Not even Jesus?

    Posted by: StarGem | Sep 1, 2012 2:57:31 PM


  9. Stevie is someone I can give the benefit of the doubt.

    Posted by: Mikemike | Sep 1, 2012 3:00:25 PM


  10. Daily kos has a blurb up

    "Some California love for the DNC: Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez will address the Democratic National Convention. Pérez made history by being the first openly gay person elected speaker of a state legislative body in the United States."

    2 demographics covered by 1 person...gay and Latino

    Posted by: say what | Sep 1, 2012 3:11:51 PM


  11. It's too late his real feelings about gay people have been revealed. Now he's just trying to save his career. He still wants us to buy his music and tickets to his show so he has apologized. Just like so many other straight artists he likes our money but he doesn't like us. Fu#k him !

    Posted by: Icebloo | Sep 1, 2012 3:19:43 PM


  12. I just called to say I think I love men
    I just called to say I think I care
    I just call to say I think I love men
    But I'm not sure cause I might not even be gay.

    Posted by: Michael | Sep 1, 2012 3:24:51 PM


  13. ICEBLOO, if you know anything about SW it's that he is a legend and does not need to "save" his career. Save your indignation for the political system in this country, and find some real injustice to get upset about. SW has clarified his comments, which from the commenst above seem to have some real resonance with some folks life experiences (abuse/etc.), and I believe him. This is a false controversy. Let it go!

    Posted by: busytimmy | Sep 1, 2012 3:25:36 PM


  14. It is really up to Frank Ocean to say whether it is "settled" or not. It seems to me that it is "settled".

    Posted by: andrew | Sep 1, 2012 3:35:18 PM


  15. Brother is a disappointment. Man you know better.

    Posted by: Grego | Sep 1, 2012 3:38:21 PM


  16. The knee-jerk cynicism on here is born out of same ignorance/arrogance that we're normally the victims of. Kind of ironic.

    Posted by: DAVID | Sep 1, 2012 3:39:00 PM


  17. There was no need for him to apologize. His statement was not offensive even it may have been wrong. Could everyone just give everyone a break?

    Posted by: Markt | Sep 1, 2012 3:46:56 PM


  18. Good enough for me. I didn't find his comments even slightly offensive in the first place. I think this super-uptight nit-picking does nothing but harm to our cause. It makes it look like we aren't satisfied with anything and complain about the tiniest little things. There are MUCH more important things for the LGBT community to concern itself with.

    Posted by: DanSwon | Sep 1, 2012 3:57:45 PM


  19. I accept his apology. I just wish that when people say they were "misunderstood" or "taken out of context" would take the time to explain what they meant by WHAT THEY SAID. Otherwise it makes these apologies seem insincere and forced. I believe Stevie is sincere and I appreciate how he's been an ambassador for love and justice but I would like for him to take the time to explain what he actually meant by his original statement.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Sep 1, 2012 4:33:32 PM


  20. His apology is nice, but doesn't adress the real problem: his words weren't misunderstood. The underlying homophobia (same-sex sexual and romantic attractions and feelings are often just a confusion) was very clear. Too bad, HE doesn't understand that.
    __________________________________________
    PS: According to "The Guardian" he was asked: "Was he surprised that there could, in 2012, be a furore at the revelation that a rapper might be gay?"

    And to that he answered "I think honestly, some people who think they're gay, they're confused"

    Posted by: Peter M. | Sep 1, 2012 4:49:24 PM


  21. I'm glad he apologized, because he really should have for those comments, and he apologized in a very sincere manner - so good for him.

    Posted by: King Lion | Sep 1, 2012 5:43:23 PM


  22. This isn't for Stevie, but is directed to anyone who stoops low enough to defend the notion of attaching confusion to being gay, and strictly gays- which is EXACTLY what his original quote did.

    Shame on you. Anytime you associate confused to gay people, and single gay people out for that trait----- you are directly feeding the anti gay rhetoric. What a complete disservice to the many gay people who had to go through a long journey to find themselves, only to have HOMOPHOBIC individuals tell them that "you may be confused" when to land in their destination after that journey of self acceptance. There is nothing more insulting. Truly nothing, than to discredit who a person has become. And as it relates to gays, which anti gay folks love to discredit our being, to attach confusion to us is to deny us any self respect.

    Posted by: Cortiz | Sep 1, 2012 5:47:06 PM


  23. The entire memo of the homophobic bigot clan is to sell society on the idea that we're confused. THAT IS THEIR WHOLE BATTLY CRY. That is their theme for denying us rights. That was the theme for killing gays for many centuries. That we're confused. I can't think of a more blatant offensive thing to say about LGBT than pulling out the confusion card at them. I'd liken it to saying black people are lazy, or brown people are not as smart. It is a catch phrase used to not legitimize a demographic and tank them. For us, every fight we're had has boiled down to the myth sold about our so called confusion. Defending against this so called confusion. Bigots selling us as confused freaks of nature. Conversion therapy programs to 'de-confuse' you and ultimately 'de-gay' you
    The biggest thorn on our side has been the confusion label.
    So if there's anything worth being fired up about, it's having that horribly ugly label attached to the LGBT experience, and that being your first response to a question about an LGBT individual.

    Posted by: Scott Johanesen | Sep 1, 2012 5:53:51 PM


  24. The entire memo of the homophobic bigot clan is to sell society on the idea that we're confused. THAT IS THEIR WHOLE BATTLY CRY. That is their theme for denying us rights. That was the theme for killing gays for many centuries. That we're confused. I can't think of a more blatant offensive thing to say about LGBT than pulling out the confusion card at them. I'd liken it to saying black people are lazy, or brown people are not as smart. It is a catch phrase used to not legitimize a demographic and tank them. For us, every fight we're had has boiled down to the myth sold about our so called confusion. Defending against this so called confusion. Bigots selling us as confused freaks of nature. Conversion therapy programs to 'de-confuse' you and ultimately 'de-gay' you
    The biggest thorn on our side has been the confusion label.
    So if there's anything worth being fired up about, it's having that horribly ugly label attached to the LGBT experience, and that being your first response to a question about an LGBT individual.

    Posted by: Scott Johanesen | Sep 1, 2012 5:53:55 PM


  25. Scott Johansen for the win.

    Beautifully said my friend. Every last word of it.

    Posted by: USC Trojans Fan | Sep 1, 2012 5:54:30 PM


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