Ne-Yo has clarified that his recent apology for his comments on parenting and gender identity was actually meant for those who took offence to it.
The father of seven came under fire for stating that he has “no problem with LGBT” but is “from an era where a man was a man and a woman was a woman”.
“And there was two genders and that’s just how I rocked,” he told Gloria Velez in an interview with VladTV.
The ‘Miss Independent’ singer continued: “You could identify as a goldfish if you feel like, I don’t care, that ain’t my business. It becomes my business when you try to make me play the game. I’m not gonna call you a goldfish. But you wanna be a goldfish, you be a goldfish.”
Ne-Yo also shared his thoughts on “what the role of a parent is”.
“If your little boy comes to you and says, ‘Daddy, I want to be a girl.’ And you just let him rock with that? If you let this 5-year-old little boy eat candy all day, he’s gonna do that,” he said.
“Like, when did it become a good idea to let a 5-year-old, let a 6-year-old, let a 12-year-old make a life-changing decision for themselves? When did that happen? Like, I don’t understand that.”
The star faced instant backlash from the LGBTQ+ community for his remarks, prompting him to apologise publicly on 7 August.
I’d like to express my deepest apologies… pic.twitter.com/M5aTFN40tn
— NE-YO (@NeYoCompound) August 7, 2023
“After much reflection, I’d like to express my deepest apologies to anyone that I may have hurt with my comments on parenting and gender identity,” he wrote on Twitter.
“I’ve always been an advocate for love and inclusivity in the LGBTQI+ community, so I understand how my comments could’ve been interpreted as insensitive and offensive.
“Gender identity is nuanced and I can honestly admit that I plan to better educate myself on the topic, so I can approach future conversations with more empathy.
“At the end of the day, I lead with love and support everyone’s freedom of expression and pursuit of happiness.”
“I need y’all to hear it from the horse’s mouth, not the publicist’s computer”
However, Ne-Yo has since taken to Instagram to explain his view “from the horse’s mouth” and “not the publicist’s computer”.
“Listen, I normally don’t give too much of a damn about what y’all think about what I do, what you have to say about what I say, whatever. I normally don’t care because, like I said, opinions ain’t special. Everybody got one. However, this is something I feel very strongly on, and I need y’all to hear it from the horse’s mouth, not the publicist’s computer,” he began.
“First and foremost, I did not apologise for having an opinion on this matter. I am a 43-year-old heterosexual man raising five boys and two girls, okay? That’s my reality. If my opinion offended somebody, yeah, sure, I apologise for you being offended because that wasn’t my intention. My intention is never to offend anybody.”
Ne-Yo continued: “However, I’m entitled to feel how I feel. I am absolutely entitled to feel how I feel the same way you are entitled to feel how you feel.”
View this post on Instagram
Accompanying the video was a caption that said he “will not be bullied into apologising for having an opinion”.
“My intention is never to offend anybody…but my opinion is MINE and I’m entitled to it,” he added. “I don’t care what y’all do with yours. That’s YOURS. This is how I FEEL. If one of my 7 kids were to decide that he or she wanted to be something other than what they were born as, once they’re old enough and mature enough to make that decision…so be it. Not gonna love em’ any less.”
Prior to his initial apology, Ne-Yo had doubled down on the comments made in his interview with Velez, which the presenter reposted.
— Gloria Velez (@GloriaVelez) August 6, 2023
“First and foremost, I CONDEMN NO ONE. Who am I to condemn anybody? Your life, your kids, your choice. I was asked a question and I answered it. My opinion is mine. I’m not asking anybody to agree with me nor am I telling you what you can and cannot do with your children,” he wrote at the time.
“I stated my opinion on a matter and that’s that. Why should I care if my opinion upsets you when you don’t care if yours upsets anyone? Opinions aren’t special. We all have one. People voice them regularly whether they’re asked or not. I was actually asked mine.
“Agreeing to disagree is not a declaration of war. Y’all do whatever the hell y’all want to. But my feelings on the matter are mine. Same way yours are yours. Meanwhile, I love everybody. Don’t agree with some of y’all’s ideals … but love you no less.”