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Eminem: Gay Slurs Are Generic Insults, Not Homophobic

Eminem: Gay Slurs Are Generic Insults, Not Homophobic

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The rapper says his use of 'faggots' in a new song is like calling someone 'bitch' or 'punk' -- and he says much of his language is 'tongue-in-cheek.'

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Rapper Eminem, facing criticism for his use of gay slurs in his song "Rap God," is now telling Rolling Stone he doesn't think the language is antigay but rather a generic insult, "like calling someone a bitch or a punk or asshole."

The song, from his upcoming album The Marshall Mathers LP 2, includes the lyrics "I'll still be able to break a motherfuckin' table / Over the back of a couple of faggots and crack it in half," and "Little gay-looking boy / So gay I can barely say it with a straight face-looking boy / You witnessing massacre like you watching a church gathering taking place-looking boy."

In an excerpt from an upcoming cover story posted on Rolling Stone's website today, interviewer Brian Hiatt asks Eminem, "You've made it clear again and again that you don't actually have a problem with gay people. So why, in 2013, use 'faggot' on that song? Why use 'gay-looking' as an insult?" The rapper responds, "When I came up battle-rappin' or whatever, I never really equated those words ... "

"To actually mean 'homosexual'?" Hiatt interjects. Eminem says, "Yeah. It was more like calling someone a bitch or a punk or asshole." Eminem adds, "I say so much shit that's tongue-in-cheek. I poke fun at other people, myself. But the real me sitting here right now talking to you has no issues with gay, straight, transgender, at all."

The cover story is due to be published November 22.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.