In today’s addition to the “I didn’t mean it that way, so it’s impossible for me to consider that you might have taken it that way” file, Odd Future’s Tyler, the Creator has shrugged off criticism of his liberal use of homophobic language (he uses the word “faggot” 213 times on one album) after attracting the attention of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. NME reports:
[T]he rapper has now spoken up in defense of his material, claiming that he has gay fans who find the language acceptable. He told MTV News: “Well I have gay fans and they don’t really take it offensive, so I don’t know. If it offends you, it offends you.”
He went on to validate his position by claiming that he himself is not offended by racist language: “If you call me a n***a, I really don’t care, but that’s just me, personally. Some people might take it the other way, I personally don’t give a s—.”
Before the controversy blew up, Tyler told NME: “I’m not homophobic. I just think ‘faggot’ hits and hurts people. It hits. And ‘gay’ just means you’re stupid. I don’t know, we don’t think about it, we’re just kids. We don’t think about that s—. But I don’t hate gay people. I don’t want anyone to think I’m homophobic.”
Perhaps someone could use a short primer on the difference between intent and effect. At what point, regardless of what you meant or felt when you used a word (hundreds of times), do you begin to care about what it might mean to listeners? Sadly, in light of Tyler’s defensive and overly simplistic reaction to this criticism, we’re guessing that, in the case of Odd Future, that just might be too much to ask.
Read more at NME.
In other news: VIDEO: Obama on ‘Good Morning America.’