In response to enormous criticism, Michelle Shocked released a statement today to news outlets, apologizing for comments she made at Yoshi’s San Francisco on Sunday.
In her statement, the beleaguered Indie-folk singer claims her remarks were misinterpreted and she is not anti-gay or against gay marriage. Yet despite the damage control set forth today with her apologetic statement, a significant number of her fans have already left and aren’t coming back. And concert promoters may not want her back as well. Yoshi’s San Francisco made it clear Michelle Shocked will not be back by tweeting.
WE AT YOSHI'S SF DO NOT & WILL NOT EVER TOLERATE THE TYPE OF BIGOTRY & HATRED EXHIBITED LAST NIGHT BY @MShocked SHE WILL NEVER BE BACK.
The owner of Yoshi’s San Francisco-Oakland, Kaz Kajimura supported his staff and wrote in response from an inquiry from San Jose Internet Examiner.com:
“Sunday is my only day off and I missed the whole thing. However, I am very proud of our staff handling the explosive situation so well. This incident and ensuing reactions by people at large also reassured me that I live in the right place on earth.”
In the wake Michelle Shocked’s disastrous comments at Yoshi’s San Francisco, the public outrage became so great that her upcoming shows were canceled one by one, and eventually led to the cancelation of the entire tour today. Many who have already tweeted suspect almost all fans will abandon her, although in the past two days, the singer gained approximately 600 new followers on Twitter. Regardless of whether fans accept her apology or even believe it’s sincere, the damage is clearly done.
Below is Michelle Shocked’s entire statement, which many feel is contrary to what she said Sunday night at Yoshi's San Francisco. A recording of her comments that evening were also released today and can be found here.
“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. I believe intolerance comes from fear, and these folks are genuinely scared. When I said "Twitter that Michelle Shocked says "God hates faggots," I was predicting the absurd way my description of, my apology for, the intolerant would no doubt be misinterpreted. The show was all music, and the audience tweets said they enjoyed it. The commentary came about ten minutes later, in the encore.
And to those fans who are disappointed by what they've heard or think I said, I'm very sorry: I don't always express myself as clearly as I should. But don't believe everything you read on facebook or twitter. My view of homosexualtiy has changed not one iota. I judge not. And my statement equating repeal of Prop 8 with the coming of the End Times was neither literal nor ironic: it was a description of how some folks - not me - feel about gay marriage.
The show, and the rant, was spontaneous. As for those applauding my so-called stance that "God Hates Faggots," I say they should be met with mercy, not hate. And I hope that what remains of my audience will meet that intolerance with understanding, even of those who might hate them.
Folks wonder about my sexuality, but denying being gay is like saying I never beat my husband. My sexuality is not at issue. What is being questioned is my support for the LGBT community, and that has never wavered. Music and activism have always been part of my work and my journey, which I hope and intend to continue. I'd like to say this was a publicity stunt, but I'm really not that clever, and I'm definitely not that cynical.
But I am damn sorry. If I could repeat the evening, I would make a clearer distinction between a set of beliefs I abhor, and my human sympathy for the folks who hold them. I say this not because I want to look better. I have no wish to hide my faults, and - clearly - I couldn't if I tried.”