Country singer Michelle Shocked has apologised for her recent anti-gay rant, but claimed that she was attempting to present the “reality” of the situation to the audience who were not “ready” to hear it.
In an interview with Piers Morgan on CNN, Shocked began by apologising for the comments she made on 17 March during her current tour, and said she “made a mistake”.
“I admit I made a mistake, Piers,” she began. “If I had the chance to do it again, I don’t think I would have taken the audience up on their choice. I had presented an entire performance, and I framed it as ‘truth,’ and then I came out back out for an encore, and they requested ‘reality.’
“And what has consequently taken place ever since then is my manifestation of how little I think of reality. I know that it’s a stock-in-trade for a lot of the media to just present things like that’s how it really is. But I don’t think the audience was ready for the consequences of that, and I surely have not been happy with it.”
She went on to maintain that she thought she had been misinterpreted, and that her comments made less sense outside the context of the show.
“On the surface it sounds really bad,” she said. “It’s not really a point worth making, but the show was supposed to be live, not recorded… When you read it in the transcript which I’ve gone back and created, I can do a couple of things to show you and highlight…”
Morgan then interrupted her, and she responded: “If you want to keep this simple for the audience, let me just give you a straight no, I’m not homophobic. But the truth I don’t think lies in the simplicity. It’s in the nuance, and that’s been completely lost in this…”
Morgan asked if she had a problem with equal marriage, to which she replied: “No I don’t.”
“What’s been questioned is my support for that [gay] community,” she said. “And they have been a predominant component of my audience over the years. It may seem very calculated and simple on my part that I would disavow them at this stage… but I need to tell them sincerely and directly, in no way do I disavow the LGBT community, in the same way that I don’t disavow my faith community.”
She was also asked by Morgan about an earlier stage in her career when she had identified as bisexual, which she denied, and blamed a manager for the misconception, saying wanting to “market [her] as a lesbian.”
Piers Morgan drew the interview to a close, however Shocked, in attempting to recite her song lyrics, was cut short when her mic was disconnected.
The interview with Morgan was described by some as incoherent, and CNN.com described it as “a rambling and confusing interview that at times struggled to remain coherent.”
51-year-old Shocked went into a “full hate speech” said one attendee, Matt Penfield, leaving audience members in disgust.
Following her outburst, Shocked said in a statement that she believed her comments were misinterpreted. She said: “I do not, nor have I ever, said or believed that God hates homosexuals (or anyone else). I said that some of His followers believe that.”