Celebrity culture is often riddled with political correctness, but over the years, several famous faces have shown their true colors, specifically when it came to speaking on the LGBT community. From gospel singers Kim Burrell and Donnie McClurkin to rappers Eminem and Beanie Sigel, here are some celebrities who have made some disappointing comments about homosexuals and the LGBT community.
Gospel singer Kim Burrell recently came under fire when video footage leaked of her going off on a homophobic rant during a sermon she was delivering at her church. In it, she called homosexuality a "spirit of delusion and confusion" that "has deceived many men and women." After the video went viral, she received a ton of backlash and was even booted from appearing on the Ellen Degeneres Show by Ellen herself, an openly lesbian woman. She was scheduled to perform with Pharrell during the episode.
Bishop Eddie Long's situation is a little different as, in addition to being initially known as a homophobe, he was later accused of partaking in sexual acts with other men who attended his ministry. In 2010, Bishop Long, who notoriously preached against homosexuality and often ministered "homosexual cures" to gays and lesbians during his services, was accused of coercing four young men into sex. One of the men claimed that Long took him on overnight trips where they shared a bedroom and kissed, masturbated and had "oral sexual contact."
Retired NBA athlete Tim Hardaway made it clear that he was a proud and blatant homophobe in 2007 when he spoke in response to a question about the coming out of former NBA star John Amaechi. Hardaway said he would try to distance himself from a player who identified as homosexual, and when asked if he was aware that his comments were homophobic, he said, "Well, you know I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don't like gay people and I don't like to be around gay people. I am homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States."
Isaiah Washington was once many people's favorite star on the hit ABC series Grey's Anatomy, but that was compromised in 2006 when he hurled a homophobic slur at his co-star T. R. Knight, who had not come out of the closet yet. Shortly after the situation went public, Knight revealed that he was gay. During a Golden Globes press conference soon after, Washington used the gay slur again, further upsetting many more who thought he was truly sorry for what occurred. After the situation was allegedly resolved, Washington issued a statement apologizing for his "unfortunate use of words during the recent incident on-set." The following year, ABC announced that it had decided not to renew Washington's contract and he was booted from the show.
Gospel singer Donnie McClurkin said in 2000 that God "delivered him" from "the curse" of homosexuality. Since then, he has been known for his negative feelings towards the LGBT community. In 2009, the minister allegedly went as far as calling gay people "vampires" in a YouTube video before saying, "I see feminine boys, everywhere I go... No, don't applaud, 'cause it ain't funny. It's because we failed." In 2015, he came under fire for speaking out against the U.S. Supreme Court ruling which made same-sex marriage legal across the country. "We've just received the answer from man's Supreme Court... We already received the answer from GOD," he wrote. "With NO REGARD to what the Supreme Court of MAN decrees... no matter what MY past was or feelings & struggles... GOD has set the only standard for marriage to be between man and woman."
A rapper and member of the hip hop group Brand Nubian, Lord Jamar released a diss song titled "Lift Up Your Skirt" in 2013 targeted toward Kanye West. In it, he somehow managed to reveal his opinion on homosexuality, saying, "gay has no place in hip hop." After receiving some backlash, he tweeted, "I went to a GAY WEDDING of a good friend not too long ago so I doubt I'm homophobic."
Rapper Eminem is known for using homophobic terms in his lyrics, and when an Australian politician tried to ban him from the country for this, the MC said that, growing up, words like "f****t" and "queer" were casually used to describe homosexuals. In 2010, Anderson Cooper confronted Eminem about the harsh terms and asked if he didn't like gay people. "No, I don't have any problem with nobody," he responded. "You know what I mean? I'm just like whatever."
Mike Epps came under fire in 2008 when he reportedly called a cameraman a "f*g," leading many to assume that he was homophobic. The actor/comedian later spoke out in response to that incident, saying, "I don't know where that came from. Nothing towards the community — none of that. I might've just said it out of anger. It ain't nothing personal [sic] against the community."
Rapper Erick Sermon, in 2012, sounded off on homophobia in hip hop and revealed that he considers it to be "a curse." "When you talk about sports players, too, like we don't know if that's ever gonna happen, 'cause that's like a curse to be in the sports and be gay and be in hip hop and be gay," he said during an interview with VladTV. "You can't be on a basketball team, football team and be a homo, and be rapping... and be homo. N****s will kill you."
Bow Wow upset a lot of his fans in 2009 when he spoke about refusing to let a barber cut his hair because he was gay. When he was slammed for the ridiculous reasoning, he tried to clear the air, only making things worse in the process. "I wanted my haircut and I asked somebody from the label to get me a barber and the dude was, you know. You know... and as a man, I'm a man. You feel me? I'm a man. Like, I'm a man, so it's kinda like... I love women to death... I don't dislike gay people... I just don't want no other man touching me."
American Idol season 15 runner-up La'Porsha Renae came under fire in 2016 after she said she didn't "agree" with the "LGBT lifestyle" while sharing her opinion on Mississippi's anti-LGBT bill. "I am one of the people who don't really agree with that lifestyle," she said. "I wasn't brought up that way. It wasn't how I was raised." She later apologized, saying she "didn't mean to hurt anyone" and was "just trying to honestly answer a question that caught me off guard."
Many have grown to consider country singer Blake Shelton the fun-loving judge on The Voice, but thanks to social media, some details from the singer's past have come back to haunt him, revealing that he may be a homophobe. Twitter account @MusicFactsTea dug up some old homophobic tweets from Shelton dating back to 2010. "Grown men who wear Chuck Taylor's may as well write on their fore head 'Cucumbers turn me on!!!'" he allegedly wrote in one tweet, while, in another, he wrote, "Standing in line at a coffee shop in LA talking with the main in front of me. He orders a skinny caramel latte. I couldn't tell he was gay!!!" In 2016, he addressed the tweets, apologizing for his brand of "comedy."
Azealia Banks, who once considered herself bisexual, went on a homophobic tirade in 2015 against gay blogger Perez Hilton, where she used a gay slur that upset many of her fans. "Do you guys think I'm a petty f****t LMFAO," she tweeted. When called out by Hilton for the hurtful words, she only dug a deeper grave, saying, "A f****t is not a homosexual male. A f****t is any male who acts like a female. There's a BIG difference." When one fan called her out for being homophobic, she offensively responded, "...and even if I am a homophobe... So wat? I still make more $ than you... still have an extra hole... and still own everything."
Jamaican artist Buju Banton has expressed an anti-gay stance in his music since the '90s. In 1992, his hit "Boom Bye Bye," which he wrote when he was 15, was known for its anti-gay lyrics which supported the murder of gay men. Many thought he had turned a new leaf in 2007 when it was rumored that he and a number of other reggae artists signed a pledge, the Reggae Compassionate Act, created by the Stop Murder Music campaign, which aimed to stop the performance of homophobic songs and statements. He, however, later denied being a part of that.
Another popular reggae artist and Jamaica native, Beenie Man, is known for his homophobic musical content. In 2004, he was even removed from the MTV Video Music Awards after protests by gay-rights activsts. Like Buju Banton, he was also rumored to have signed the Reggae Compassionate Act, but later denied that he was ever a part of it. Since then, he continued to include homophobic lyrics in his music, resulting in several of his shows around the world being canceled. In 2012, he apologized for the offensive content, saying, "I have nothing against no one. I respect each and every human being, regardless of which race or creed, regardless of which religious belief you believe in, and regardless of which sexual preference you are, including gays and lesbian people."
Beanie Sigel showed his true colors during an interview on The Breakfast Club in 2016 when he spoke about his disgust for homosexuality on National Coming Out Day. "Things are going too far," he said. "Even in the media and television, this homosexuality s**t is at an all-time high... and it's sickening to me. I shouldn't have to explain to my son why two men is [sic] on primetime television kissing. Nothing positive or good comes out of that." Needless to say, he was dragged, later on, for his words on social media.
(Photo from left: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images, John Amis-Pool/Getty Images, Jerritt Clark/Getty Images)