Ne-Yo apologises over 'insensitive and offensive' comments following gender identity backlash

Ne-Yo. Picture: Instagram

Ne-Yo. Picture: Instagram

Published Aug 7, 2023


Ne-Yo has vowed to "better educate" himself about gender identity issues.

The 'So Sick' hitmaker faced a backlash when he slammed the parents of trans children for letting them make "life-changing" decisions at a young age and insisted he wouldn't "play the game" when it came to using people's preferred pronouns, but he's now offered his "deepest apologies" for his "insensitive" remarks.

He wrote in a statement shared to Twitter: “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.

“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."

The 43-year-old star - who has Madilyn, 12, and Mason, 11, with former fiancee Monyetta Shaw, Shaffer Jr., seven, Roman, five, and Isabella, two, with ex-wife Crystal Renay, and Braiden, two, and Brixton, six months, with ex-girlfriend Sade Jenea - had accused the mothers and fathers of young trans children of having "forgotten what the role of parent" is.

Speaking to Gloria Velez for VladTV, he said: “I feel like the parents have almost forgotten what the role of a parent is.

“If your little boy comes up to you and says, ‘Daddy I wanna be a girl,’ you just let him rock with that?”

"Where did he get that? If you let this five-year-old little boy eat candy all day, he’s gonna do that. Like, when did it become a good idea to let a five year old, a six year old, a 12 year old, make a life-changing decision?

“When did that happen? Like, I don’t understand that.

"He can’t drive a car yet, but he can decide his sex?"

Ne-Yo declared he comes from "an era" where a “man was a man and a woman was a woman" and while he is happy for people to identify how they want to, he won't "play the game".

He continued: “There was two genders and that’s just how I rocked. You could identify as a goldfish if you feel like, 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.”