Andy Cohen Forced to Apologize for Calling One Direction ‘Twinks’


You can tell the election news cycle is over when…

An actual story/outrage making headlines this week:

Appearing on the Today Show just hours after Harry Styles and co had performed in front of their thousands of fans who had queued for days to see them, Cohen recalled the moment when he saw the band in the green room.

He said: "This morning, I went into the normal green room that we typically go into. I barged in, there are all these people in front of us. Oh, it's all the leftover One Direction fans. I barged right into a room of twinks: One Direction! Security was not exactly too tight, with all due respect. I barged right in. It was crazy!"

The term "twinks" is said to be a slang word for young gay men and is deemed to be offensive and derogatory.


Taking to his Twitter page after reportedly getting tweets from One Direction fans who were unhappy with his comments, Cohen apologised saying: "Misused word earlier — I just meant they’re cute. #1D” But he has left his tweet from earlier still on his official page.




  1. Paulie says

    I thought twinks was used to describe a certain type of young guy, regardless of sexual orientation.

  2. Demian says

    “Twink” is not derogatory. A young man might take offense at being called a twink, but that’s a different matter.

  3. David in Houston says

    “Twink” is derogatory? Wouldn’t that make “bear” derogatory too? I’m not buying it. They’re clearly upset that they were labeled gay. Well, if they’re not gay, then no one will care; and if they are gay, no one will care.

  4. Chadd says

    Straight guys take offense at being called gay, so it would make sense that they would be offended by being called twinks. No one in the gay community thinks its offensive.

    One Directions hairstyles? Now THAT is offensive!

  5. says

    Thank you, Syncboy – Since when is “Twink” offensive? This is such a non-story it’s ridiculous. And who “forced” Andy to apologize?

  6. Jon says

    Nobody rocks a pair of red capris pants like One Direction band member Louis Tomlinson. Doesn’t that say it all?

  7. Markus says

    Paulie: That’s true, this is regardless to the sexual orientation and secondly, that even if ‘twink’ is for gay men then, my putting it in an offensive category one is only making it offensive to be gay, ‘coz by their argument it’s nothing but young(may be handsome) young gay men. Now, certainly to them neither being young nor being handsome would be offensive so, the only element left is the gay one. And the word ‘twink’ is also unlike the word ‘blonde’ which carries the connotation of being dumb. So, the point is that’s it’s actually them who should be better apologizing ‘coz they think it’s bad to derogatory and offensive if someone calls you gay as it is the last think one would wish for.

  8. Stevie says

    Of course “twink” isn’t offensive. Sheeesh! It’s a compliment. Twink to me means: young, cute, stupid. Okay…maybe the stupid part isn’t a compliment…but you get my drift.

    Andy went along with the “forced apology” because he knew it would get him publicity.

  9. Tim NC says

    In addition to young and cute, “twink” also implies excessively skinny, no body hair, feminine mannerisms and a lack of muscle mass. But, it still isn’t derogatory. It’s just a descriptor for a certain “type”.

  10. Geoff in TO says

    Stevie: I don’t think “twink” implies that a person is stupid any more than “bear” does. It’s just a body type and age group.

    Or maybe I’m just getting extra defensive because my bf always says I’m “twinky.”

  11. Ted says

    “The term “twinks” is said to be a slang word for young gay men and is deemed to be offensive and derogatory.” LOL. Your kidding!!! I’m sorry, I didn’t get the memo on that.

  12. RaySager says

    This is a non-story pure and simple. I’m considered a bear in the gay community and it doesn’t offend me one bit to be called one. They are twinks and should own it instead of acting so flamey about it.

  13. says

    I, for one, do find ‘twink’ to be an offensive term. Sure, some will just use it to describe a young or young-looking man, but it generally also implies that the ‘twink’ in question is stupid, immature, shallow, and slutty. I’ve been fighting the label ‘twink’ for years, and I can’t help but notice that the only people who defend their right to use it are those who the term doesn’t apply to…

  14. Fenrox says

    Wow, Andy Cohen strikes again. He is the worst, he never should have apologized. Julian Clary would never have apologized.

  15. Stephen says

    Glad to see ALL of us gay guys agree that the word is in fact NOT OFFENSIVE. It is used in everyday speak. Someone is trying to stir a shite storm here…..ridiculous

  16. andrew says

    @Top To Bottom: If you have been fighting the label twink “for years”, you are no longer a twink. Just sayin.

  17. Francis says

    Some may find twink offensive, but I don’t see it. It can be offensive depending on context but clearly Andy didn’t mean it in an offensive way. This is all about some of these One Direction boys being closeted and insecure and many of their fans being insane.

  18. VDUFFORD says

    Randall…in ‘twink’ language…so…nailed it!
    Anderson Cooper is his runners up though.Check both the old ‘twinks’ today on Anderson’s ‘twinky’ show! Giddy senior twinks that had to see Maddona’s Show all three times…eek!

  19. says

    if it walks like a duck…

    But twink does have some “dim witted” connotations that Bear doesnt carry, bust still, these guys are pretty twinktastic

  20. says

    So, when did twinks become an offensive term? I thought anyone under 21, gay and fitting all the other A&F stereotypes fell into that category.

  21. Shaunie says

    Hm… How some of you view “Twink” as not being offensive (when said to heterosexual men) is exactly how some heterosexuals feel about the word “fag”. Not everyone who is straight considers that offensive or means to offend gay people when they say it, but still they’re expected to apologize or feel sorry for using the word. I’m not defending the use of the word, I think it’s just as disgusting as the “n” word (regardless of who says it), but all of this “It’s not offensive” and “He shouldn’t have apologized” crap is kind of hypocritical to me.

  22. Philipem says

    Who writes this stuff?? Twinks does not equal gay and it’s not a completely mainstream acceptable term (you wouldn’t tell your mom you’re dating a twink even if YOU were a twink), it’s not derogatory. Maybe a little sexist, but in this context I must say “room full of twinks” would be a perfectly acceptable gay slang description of a room full of 1D, gay or straight. By “cute” in his correction I think he meant “twinks”…

  23. io says

    twink IS sexual innuendo for being gay and one direction simply can’t afford to be accused of being gay. the offense is that being gay is bad. screw this

  24. says

    in what alternate dimension is “twink” a derogatory insult?

    is this like when you get those butt-hurt wimps who are like “i’m not gay! i’m a dude who’s into other dudes!”?

    they are twinks! non-gay or whatever, they’re pretty young thins with flat stomachs and elaborately coiffed manes.

  25. Diogenes Arktos says

    To me, while “twink” usually means gay, young, and insipid, I have used it to describe straights.

    I’m just surprised that a BRAVO executive is so ignorant about potential gay slang.

  26. Lucas H says

    Yeah, I feel to see how the word twink is derogatory.
    Somebody thought their manhood was being insulted (it wasn’t) and got all defensive and made much ado over nothing.
    They should apologize for making him apologize! Homophobes, the lot of them! Haha. But no, really…kinda.

  27. waywardson1 says

    I’m with most others; since when is “twink” offensive? I don’t really see why it matters, hell, I still prefer “fag” over any of the PC crap people spew today

  28. Jeff C. says

    You have no idea how relieved I am that the grammar police are on the job. I am glad folks are out there policing my language because I obviously cannot self-moderate. Next up are the terms; Bear, Otter, Chub, Chaser, Sir, and Cub among a host of self-identifying terms among the subcultures of our community. Their objective is to scrub the English (and other) languages of any term that can be used in a detrimental way. Yes, “Twink” can be used in a derogatory way, but it also is used as a self-identifying term in the sub-culture. The lesson here is it is not the fault of the word or even the word choice (with some notable exceptions), it is the tone and manner in which the term is delivered.

    Worst of all, politically correct language does not effectively change anything. Any word, even an innocuous or polite one may be used to convey disgust, distaste, and raw hatred. “Twink” is/was an innocuous term that some people may choose to deploy in a negative way.

  29. Wilberforce says

    Among other things, twink means stupid. And thus it’s offensive. We use it among ourselves, but would never call a young person that to his face. It’s slightly disrespectful.
    Cohen has a lot more to apologize for than this. Like turning gay TV into shallow trash that makes us look like fools to the public. If I had my way, he’d be run out on a rail. But obviously, his trash sells in the ignorant community, so he’s not going anywhere.

  30. Steve says

    Sounds like someone in 1D is severely closeted. Twink is hardly derogatory. Hell, diva and queen are harsher insults than twink.

  31. Randy says

    Straight folks like to make “twink” anything they want it to be. The occasional news reports confirm that at the Canadian border, it means “boy under 16″.

    I don’t even want to guess what “Golden Girls” means to them.

  32. HERMES says

    “Twink” comes from “teen” and “hunk”, meaning not muscular enough (yet) to be a hunk, but still sexy in an adolescent way. What’s offensive about that?

  33. Chicklets says

    “twinks” is offensive?! lol. Well would they rather be called “chicken”? They do look like a bunch of twinks!

  34. Mary says

    I never even heard the terms “twink” and “bear” to refer to any particular kind of man until just recently when I saw the movie “Role/Play.” The main character pointed out another gay couple to his friend and mentioned the “twink” and “bear” combination that they represented. Immediately I knew which was which and what he meant. Movies can be really acculturative when you’re trying to learn about another community. But I’m still not sure what terms a straight person is allowed to use to refer to gays/lesbians without being offensive, so I stick to just using the LGBT initials or the general term “gay.” However, I’m still not exactly sure what a “nellie queen” is or even if I’m spelling “nellie” correctly!

  35. says

    This ex-twink doesn’t find the term insulting. However, the woman who made the accusations was offensive. She implied that this is a derogatory term used by older gay men preying on younger (some underage) young men. She dragged up the stereotype of gay vampires preying on the young and claimed the term was associated with that. She is the own using derogatory terms.

  36. Edd says

    @Jaragon. If the person is Between a Teen and a Hunk, they are a Twink. The “W” in tWink comes from betWeen.
    So I’ve been told.

  37. alex says

    While gay people might not view “twink” as a gay-specific term, I don’t think that view is shared by the majority. Regardless, it certainly does have a sexual connotation. Enter the word in a search engine for evidence, which is probably what some straight people did.

  38. says

    In porn, a twink is a young skinny guy with no muscles to speak of. A muscular twink earns a qualifier, making him a twink muffin. A twink muffin with body hair is an otter. Twenty years of body-building and 120 shots of anabolic steroids later, he’s a certified bear. Less muscular bears also qualify as daddies, and the best of these gets described by their fans as DILF, or Daddies I Like To F*ck. In the porn movie in my head, Andy Cohen is a cuddly bear who power-bottoms for a lean-and-mean disciplinarian leather master Anderson Cooper. Any questions?

  39. AngelaChanning says

    Sure sure, as we debate if “Twink” is derogatory or not, the real Hostess “Twinkie” factory might be shuttered!
    \tongue in cheek

  40. MajorTom says

    Let’s see, a group of cute young guys who like to grab each others’ crotches. Hmmm… Sounds like twinks to me!

  41. MajorTom says

    Oh… and TOP TO BOTTOM. I don’t associate any of the negative connotations you mention as being typical characteristics of twinks.

  42. Bill Michael says

    Well, I didn’t know that being called a “twink” was derogatory. Is someone trying to start a fight?

  43. Alexx says

    Doesn’t this just mean that he saw them as twinks, not that they are twinks?

    And this guy is gay, so why would he apologize for seeing them as attractive young guys who lack body hair (that is what a twink is, right?).

  44. LincolnLounger says

    I still can’t figure out when “tranny” became offensive.

    Whether “twink” is offensive or not, could Andy Cohen just STFU?

  45. jamal49 says

    Considering Andy Cohen is the twinkiest twink that ever lived, I think it’s a bit much that he’s ragging on One Direction and calling them twinks.

    Andy, honey, you wrote the handbook on twinkiness.

  46. Chad Taylor says

    Since when is “twink” derogatory??? Who’s writing this? Where did you go to gay school??

    Signed, A Chickenhawk

  47. JohnnyA2 says

    @Top to Bottom,

    That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Twink implies younger, thinner, lightly or no body haired men between the ages of 18-24. If you take offense to that, I guess you take offense when a woman is called buxom? How about when a man is called a bear. How about if a person is called a Brave executive? It is a DESCRIPTION. It is only negative to YOU. I know plenty of twinks and I bet if you look at most gay dating web sites, they describe themselves as twinks. Get over yourself. You are pathetic

  48. SteveP says

    “..but it generally also implies that the ‘twink’ in question is stupid, immature, shallow, and slutty.” Uhm, no it doesn’t. It JUST implies a guy is young and, as is usually the case, focuses on things that young people focus on. No judgement there. Have at it! Sounds like somebody is internalizing this.