Frank Ocean | Music

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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  1. @ Scott Johansenn

    Amen! couldn't have said it better myself. and I think it's actually unfortunate that it even needs to be said.

    Posted by: lazerlightbeams | Sep 1, 2012 5:55:34 PM

  2. Yes, StarGem - even Jesus. You see, Stevie Wonder is real. Jesus is a fictional character.

    Posted by: jeffreychrist | Sep 1, 2012 5:57:16 PM

  3. It's actually disgusting that some of the replies are associating rapist/pedophiles to gay men, and you absolutely are. To you I say F*CK YOU! You filthy pieces of sh-t. A big f-ck you!

    The interview and question had absolutely NOTHING to do with pedophilia. It was regarding Frank Ocean, and gays in 2012. To respond with a reflex that automatically goes to someone who sexually abused innocent children, regardless of your personal experience, is revolting, not homophobic but HATE. Pure HATE in your heart. You are projecting that on gay men.

    Posted by: C | Sep 1, 2012 5:59:02 PM

  4. Honestly? I didn't think much of the quote until I read the people defending the quote. Most of whom sound nothing short of ignorant and bigoted toward gays themselves, without even realizing it. Sexually abuse as children? Confused children who mistake friendship for sexual desire? mistaking platonic love for lust? and y'all are claiming you're not homophobes?
    By this apology, I can take that Stevie is most likely not a homophobe. But by the explanation of those who defended his original comments, I'd say you are. Some of your far fetched defenses for his quote are things I'm not sure he'd co-sign too. And are straight up homophobia if I've ever heard. Own it. Don't get defensive when called out on it. Own your ignorance.

    Posted by: Dynex | Sep 1, 2012 6:02:21 PM

  5. I'm going to be brutally frank; some of the most disappointing and bigoted commentary I've read -albeit very few, and thankfully not many- has been in the responses to the Wonder story, and those who agreed with his initial statements. They actually reaffirm everything those who take offense with his statements are saying, and are objecting too. Instead of being so hell bent on getting your point across on psycho analyzing the gay community and who we are, step back and truly listen to your words and hear how they come off. If you can objectively say they are not ignorant, than I can objectively see how ignorance breeds in society today.

    Posted by: Art Smith | Sep 1, 2012 6:05:00 PM

  6. Stevie's apology seems sincere. Some of you need to get your head out of your as$es and learn to forgive.

    Posted by: Mel Smith | Sep 1, 2012 6:05:27 PM

  7. Stevie's apology seems sincere. Some of you need to get your head out of your as$es and learn to forgive.

    Posted by: Mel Smith | Sep 1, 2012 6:05:28 PM

  8. There's no justifying the original remark, and even he himself wanted to clarify them and felt the need to clarify them. So get the hell outta here with all the "well, yeah many gays ARE confused" hyper protecting of Stevie. Stevie's back peddalin and wanting to re clarify his point himself.
    Some of y'all need to welcome yourselves in 2012 where telling people who they are, or even commenting about members of an entire community and the psychology behind why they are who they are is inappropriate and gonna get you rightfully shunned. go live your live instead of fixating on how gays became gay. seriously.

    Posted by: Real Talk | Sep 1, 2012 6:07:46 PM

  9. Howdy!!!

    Posted by: Hippo H | Sep 1, 2012 6:09:42 PM

  10. Howdy!!!

    Posted by: Hippo H | Sep 1, 2012 6:09:43 PM

  11. I'm gonna have to echo other posters. I accept Stevie Wonders apology. It was very rapid, quick and well worded and seems sincere BUT what I'm not going to accept is those who are going off the deep end defending his first statment about the confusion of some gays. some of what you all are posting is far more offensive than the original quote. Some of you seem to have bottled up your personal feelings on gays, and took this opportunity to just come out and air all your ignorance.

    Here's a hint: when you tell a segment of the population, who has been questionned all their lives about who they are, that many of them are really just confused.....buckle up, put on your big boy pants, and be ready for a rebuttal. Maybe even a passionate rebuttal. Why? because you earned it with your own confusion.

    Posted by: C.J | Sep 1, 2012 6:12:09 PM

  12. I agree he should have apologized, and anyone claiming he shouldn't is a huge stain on our community and probably led a very priveliged existence. Go talk to my best friend who has been told all his life he is not really gay, just confused, attempted suicide on two seperate occasions, and became clinically depressed for some time because of the confused meme bigots love to throw in our faces. Confused is the bigot who tries to control the lives of someone else. This damaging label has cost the lives of many a gay folks and needs to be corrected and challenged whenever it is preached.

    Posted by: Yellow-Mellow | Sep 1, 2012 6:15:27 PM

  13. You'll sometimes hear a few gays say the cliche "we've got bigger fish to fry" in reference to any story that disrespects who we are. They say, overlook it "we've got bigger fish to fry"
    Someone is promoting falsehood about members of our community? Forget about it, they say, "we've got bigger fish to fry"

    That fish sure is colossal at this point. What is that bigger fish? Gay marriage. Is that and other prominent court cases the only channel all and every single LGBT need to pour our resources into?

    Sorry but for some of us, education in the streets, attaining respect, educating minds on who we are, challenging those who are misguided about who we are, and the mental shift in public is FAR FAR more important than the gay marriage debate. Why? because you build things brick by brick, and the first brick in attaining rights is respect. If people don't respect you, they won't vote for you. That certainly doesn't mean being confrontational when someone makes an inappropriate remark about LGBT, but it does mean it is vital each & everyone of us educate those minds who do speak from a place of ignorance. Sit down, and open that line of communication. Those in the "bigger fish to fry" camp just want us all under the gay marriage umbrella, as if that victory will magically make all homophobia evaporate. There's couldn't be more flawed thinking.

    What truly makes homophobia settle down is to engage those who make misinformed comments about LGBT. respectfully approaching them, and not being afraid to have that awkward chat.

    So for those of you in the "GAY MARRIAGE IS OUR LIFELINE" camp. Cool. Do you. That's the heart & soul for being gay for you? than advance it by supporting just that. For the rest of us who care about advancing LGBT in a broader spectrum, don't attempt to silence us for having a voice in speaking our truths, and letting truth win over false lies about LGBT. We'll always speak up, and stand up, even if it's not collective.

    Posted by: Nerd Dude 1981 | Sep 1, 2012 6:24:57 PM

  14. Before some of you posters get startled at those defending his original comment, that sounded wack, just know that towleroad and this story about Stevie have been linked to one of his biggest fan sites on the net. So a lot of the visitors and valiant defenders you see aren't actually gay, just die hard Stevie fans. Hence why it's even more important to bridge the gap and tell them exactly why we did feel his original comment did a disservice to many GLBT out there.

    Posted by: Observer | Sep 1, 2012 6:27:19 PM

  15. Thank you for the apology Mr. Wonder. I'm glad you made it, and as others said, it really did need to be made. So thank you for that.

    And for anyone questionning why he had to apologize? it's fascinating you'd even have to ask, but since you're unwilling to have that critical thinking, or even care about the gay community much to even explore that thought:
    when a question is posed at you regarding a specific person who is gay/bi and the question has absolutely nothing to do with their confusion in being who they are, and your initial response is irrelevant mumbo jumbo about confusion, and same sex attraction, you derailing the context of the question asked at you to pitch an unrelated homophobic tune. dance around it all you want, that's what happened.

    Posted by: Mario | Sep 1, 2012 6:31:43 PM

  16. The interviewers question had no reason to warrant that response he gave. Nothing. It's puzzling anyone would be surprised by the gay community being disappointed in Stevie's first comments, but not surprising. We live in a society that states racism, sexim, any ism toward other demographics is evil and worthy of great backlash from the group on the receiving end of the ignorance, even subtle ignorance. But with gays? unless someone is literally beating us violently, there's no reason to react to any ignorance directed at us. And any reaction from us is over reactionary. Why? because our society has decided homophobia should have a place at the dinner table, and gays should learn to deal with it. For shame.

    Posted by: 2 Dads | Sep 1, 2012 6:35:02 PM

  17. today's activists prove one thing...they don't listen..they just wait.......Stevie said what he said...he shouldn't have to apologize to emotional hypocrites posing as activists....very sad of today's society...

    Posted by: Alan Brickman | Sep 1, 2012 6:39:55 PM

  18. I guess. I think stevie's confused

    Posted by: rick scatorum | Sep 1, 2012 6:42:52 PM

  19. 2 Dads-
    I sincerely have to agree. I abhor racism, and call it out as I see it. It's repulsive in this day & age. But the very posters I see here who consistently get livid over racism seem to never be able to empathize or sympathize when LGBT are feeling isolated, hurt, rejected or offended. In their minds, homophobia takes a lot to prove, but racism is believable at face value, and worthy of more passion in combating it. That's incorrect. Racism and homophobia both stem from a place of lack of understanding. Both should equally be considered when said groups hurt by the actions of others, express that hurt. What I observe on here is that the posters most willing to extend empathy in stories relating to shameful racism toward a politician or public figure, are usually very reluctant to extend that same empathy to LGBT.

    Posted by: Duration & Convexity | Sep 1, 2012 6:43:28 PM

  20. Folks who don't grasp why some didn't appreciate Stevie Wonder's words need to grasp a very simple point here. had stevie included all sexualities, or name dropped other sexualities, or simply said "and that confusion can occur with heterosexuals too" none of the people objecting his comments would have a leg to stand on. But he didn't do that. he easily could have, and his original point would have not only made sense but been enhanced by the fairness of it's context. but he chose to leave it at same sex attraction that correlates to confusion. it was precisely because he singled out the gay community toward a claim the gay community has been trying to fight for ages now, that he invited the criticism. to refuse to understand that very basic point is to willingly be opposed to understanding the other side, which speaks volumes on you rather than some gay people.

    either way, Stevie gets it! now time for you too as well.
    thank you stevie for being compassionate enough to care about others.

    Posted by: Leo Leo | Sep 1, 2012 6:49:50 PM

  21. He needed to clarify the weird, murky statement he made. He really did. And this does a beautiful job of clarifying it. But it really did need to be made clear. Again, it's crystal clear now. Back to listening his amazing music I go!

    Posted by: Tim San Diego | Sep 1, 2012 6:50:56 PM

  22. Stevie is just repeating the propaganda a lot of anti-gay Christians use to attack LGBT people when they say "gays are confused". The truth is a lot of Christians are confused by these anti-gay Christians who take part in these hate groups who are out to do as much damage as they can to LGBT people and other minorities they think they need to attack.

    Posted by: Mike | Sep 1, 2012 7:59:02 PM

  23. I hate homophobes like him and also his pathetic excuses, boycott all his music.

    Posted by: nheaney | Sep 1, 2012 8:11:29 PM

  24. What I found most frustrating with the comment and similar comments made is that it came from a straight man. Straight people have an ugly pattern of defining who we are. That's extremely insulting and yes, it frustrates our community- rightfully so. They need to stop commenting on who we are, even who some of us are. They are not qualified and frankly, it will always come off ignorant when they do.

    Posted by: Hameed | Sep 1, 2012 8:32:45 PM

  25. I guess gay people are the only people not allowed to be offended, according to some. We respect when women feel as though there is a war against women and we hear their concerns, same as African Americans, immigrants, but when LGBT voice their concerns to less than appreciated comments, we're told to put a muzzle on. No, we don't have to. We're public enemy number one in many parts of the world, denied civil rights in America and basic rights in most of the world. We, of all people, have the right to speak our mind about our concerns and feeling like we're misrepresented.

    Posted by: guarico | Sep 1, 2012 8:36:40 PM

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