Singer and songwriter Shaffer Chimere Smith, who performs under the stage name Ne-Yo, clarified his comments and subsequent apology issued on social media regarding minors seeking medical gender transitions.
Ne-Yo originally declared his opposition to the concept of transgender children during a Saturday interview with VladTV.
“I normally don’t give too much of a damn about what y’all think about what I do [or] what y’all say about what I have to say,” Ne-Yo began in a new video posted to Instagram. “Opinions aren’t special, everybody’s got one.”
He added: “I need y’all to hear this from the horse’s mouth, not the publicist’s computer.”
— Amala Ekpunobi (@amalaekpunobi) August 7, 2023
“I do not apologize for having an opinion on this matter,” the singer declared, adding he was a heterosexual 43-year-old father of five boys and two girls. “That’s my reality.”
Ne-Yo apologized for anyone offended by his comments, saying it was not his intention to offend anyone.
“I’m entitled to feel how I feel … the same way you are entitled to feel how you feel,” he continued. “I was asked a question, and I answered the damn question.”
The singer said he has no “beef” with the LGBTQIA+ community.
“Do whatever the hell it is you wanna do. Do what you wanna do with your kids,” he said. “Somebody asked my opinion the matter and this is how I feel.”
“I will never be okay with allowing a child make a decision that’s detrimental to their life,” Ne-Yo said, adding he planned on “educating” himself further on the matter. “However, I doubt there’s any book anywhere, or any opinion that somebody’s gonna tell me, that’s gonna make me okay with letting a child make a decision like that.”
The performer said if he is cancelled over his comments then “maybe this is a world where they don’t need Ne-Yo no more.”
“I got no problem with that,” he said. “I’m a hustler. I’ll figure it out. I got kids to raise and I’m gonna do that regardless.”
During Saturday’s interview with VladTV, the performer said “parents have almost forgotten what the role of a parent is.”
“It’s like, OK, if your little boy comes to you and says, ‘Daddy, I want to be a girl.’ And you just let him rock with that?” Ne-Yo said. “If you let this 5-year-old boy decide to eat candy all day, he’s going to do that.”
“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. I don’t get that.”
He added: “We live in a weird time, man.”
“All right, you want to play with dolls? Fine, play with dolls, but you’re a boy playing with dolls,” he said. “‘I want to wear pink.’ All right, cool, wear pink, but you’re a boy wearing pink.”
On Sunday night, the performer shared a post to X, formerly known as Twitter, expressing apologies for his initial comments during the VladTV interview.
“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 Sunday night social media post stated, adding he has always been supportive of the LGBTQI+ community. “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.”
I’d like to express my deepest apologies… pic.twitter.com/M5aTFN40tn
— NE-YO (@NeYoCompound) August 7, 2023
“At the end of the day, I lead with love and support everyone’s freedom of expression and pursuit of happiness.”