(LifeSiteNews) — Singer and songwriter “Ne-Yo” clarified his views Monday evening against what he said were his publicist’s words after he drew criticism from conservatives for appearing to rapidly backpedal from speaking out against radical gender ideology for children.
“I normally don’t give too much of a d*** about what y’all think about what I do … however this is something that I feel very strongly on, and I need y’all to hear this from the horse’s mouth, not the publicist’s computer,” Shaffer Chimere Smith, known professionally as “Ne-Yo,” said in a video posted to social media on August 7.
— Amala Ekpunobi (@amalaekpunobi) August 7, 2023
“First and foremost, I did not apologize 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. Now, if my opinion offended somebody, yeah, sure I apologize for you being offended because that wasn’t my intention,” he explained.” My intention is never to offend anybody. 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.”
“I was asked a question and I answered the d*** question, okay?” Ne-Yo said.
The singer went on to state again, as he did in the original interview, that he doesn’t harbor any animosity toward people who identify with a range of divergent sexual proclivities.
“However, someone asked my opinion on this matter, and this is how I feel. I will never be okay with allowing a child to make a decision that detrimental to [their] life,” he said. “I will never be okay with that.”
Ne-Yo sparked controversy over the weekend after he gave candid remarks about parents who “affirm” the alleged transgender identities of their young children in an August 5 interview with VLADTV.
“Parents have almost forgotten what the role of a parent is,” Ne-Yo said in the interview. “If your little boy comes to you and said, ‘Daddy, I want to be a girl,’ and you just let him rock with that … he’s five.”
He paraphrased remarks made by conservative commentator Matt Walsh during a 2022 episode of Dr. Phil, noting, “If your son comes to you and says, ‘Daddy, I want to be a girl,’ ask your son: ‘Son, what is a girl?’”
Like Walsh, Ne-Yo suggested a little boy might then describe a girl as someone who plays with dolls or wears pink, things he suggested a little boy can do and still be a boy.
He went on to say that he doesn’t harbor animosity toward people based on their sexual orientation or behavior but argued that the issue becomes problematic when it’s forced upon him and others.
“I just personally come from an era where a man was a man and a woman was a woman,” he said. “And there was two genders, and that’s just how I rocked. You can identify as a goldfish if you feel like it. I don’t care. It ain’t my business. It becomes my business when you try to make me play the game with you,” he said. “I’m not calling you a goldfish.”
“We live in a weird time, man,” he said.
A day after the interview, a formal apology was posted to the singer’s account on Twitter/X.
“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,” the statement read. “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,” the statement added. “At the end of the day, I lead with love and support everyone’s freedom of expression and pursuit of happiness.”
In his comments Monday evening, Ne-Yo reiterated the language from the formal apology, stating that he still intends to “educate myself a little bit more on this matter.”
“However, I doubt that there’s any book anywhere, or any opinion that someone’s going to tell me that’s going to make me okay with letting a child make a decision like that,” he said. “That’s just period, point blank, and that’s how I feel.”
“If I get canceled for this, then you know what, maybe this is a world where they don’t need a Ne-Yo no more, alright?” he said. “And I ain’t got no problem with that. I’m a hustler, alright? I’ll figure it out. I got kids to raise, and I’m [going to] do that, regardless.”