Country-music star and “The Voice” mentor-judge Blake Shelton has apologized for more than a dozen homophobic, racist and misogynist tweets he posted from 2009 to 2011, including a highly inappropriate comment about then 16-year-old actress Dakota Fanning.
“Everyone knows comedy has been a major part of my career and it’s always been out there for anyone to see,” Shelton, 40, posted on Twitter and Facebook Wednesday after screengrabs of the since-deleted tweets surfaced on Saturday. “That said, anyone that knows me also knows I have no tolerance for hate of any kind or form. Can my humor at times be inappropriate and immature? Yes. Hateful? Never. That said, I deeply apologize to anybody who may have been offended.”
The issue arose when the Twitter account The Music Tea posted nearly a dozen screengrabs from what it said was Shelton’s live page. Most of the tweets, though rarely containing obscenities, are unsuitable for repetition in a family newspaper. On social media, they have inspired the hashtag #BlakeSheltonIsOverParty.
One tweet from March 11, 2011, reads, “Standing in line at a coffee shop in LA talking with the man in front of me. He orders a skinny caramel latte. I couldn’t tell he was gay!!!” In a July 4, 2010, post, Shelton refers to an airport shuttle driver who “can’t speak a[n expletive] word of English” as “Omar,” a common Middle Eastern name. At least two tweets refer to women by a common derogatory term.
One tweet, dated Nov. 6, 2010, reads, “Soo . . . I just figured out a great excuse for my sick fantasy about Dakota Fanning. I thought she was Amanda Seyfried.”
Responses to his apology on Shelton’s Facebook page were mixed. One of the first people to comment wrote, “Why apologize?? If they’re offended, it’s their problem. Tell them to get bent.” It received more than 300 likes. Others felt differently, with one saying, “Blake didn’t mean to offend anyone but at least he acknowledged that he may have unintentionally done so. Bravo to him! Never blame the person who is offended by what they perceive as racist, etc or refer to them as ‘humor impaired’. That’s a weak attempt to excuse the inexcusable.” It received just 12 likes.