Though legions of viewers took to social media to express their concern over the content of Lil Nas X‘s ‘Call Me By Your Name’ performance at the 2021 BET Awards (which made headlines for featuring a same-sex smooch), Rap media mogul-turned-reality TV star Benzino set the Internet ablaze when he not only suggested the showing wasn’t safe for kids to watch but even went as far as to brand it as ‘satanic’ and ‘irresponsible.’
“That sh*t BET pulled was lame as fuck. It was too uncomfortable, too irresponsible, too forced and too irrelevant to the awards,” he said. “Homie ain’t even hot like that for music anymore anyway. It’s a shame what all this is coming too. I wish I has the backing to bring the Source Awards back.”
Earning an unceremonious slamming for his now-deleted comments (deemed homophobic by many), word got back to LNX who re-tweeted a story about the 55-year-old’s criticism and said:
“I’m sorry but the thought of n*ggas sitting their kids down in the living room and telling them gay people exist is so hilarious to me,” Lil Nas X wrote in the tweet.
As the backlash against Benzino continued days after the BET Awards, he took to ‘Black News Tonight’ to elaborate with resident anchor Marc Lamont Hill about his true feelings on the controversy.
Look inside to see what he said.
BENZINO ON BEING CALLED A HOMOPHOBE:
“I want to make it clear; there’s not a homophobic bone in my body. It almost feels silly that I have to defend myself because when you think about it, it’s common that gay people are a part of our life and society. I respect that. I have many gay friends, family members, and have never had a problem with the LGBTQ community.”
BENZINO ON WHY HE CALLED LIL NAS X’S PERFORMANCE ‘IRRESPONSIBLE.’
“It was more or less coming from a production standpoint because award shows have to be responsible for all ages,” he said before later continuing, “There’s a time and a place for everything…the BET Awards is meant to be a family show.“
When challenged on if he felt the night’s other performers (who routinely made drug, sex, or violence references) were offensive too, Zino agreed – but still maintained that LNX’s performance was uniquely offensive because he has a 5-year-old son.
“In my world, [homosexuality] is new to me; I wasn’t always understandable about the gay community,” he said. “I had to learn and it had to organically set in me that these are people just like me. I feel like sometimes things can be forced and they don’t have to be.”
Ultimately, the ‘Love & Hip Hop’ star maintained he was not trying to be offensive but also made clear he is not backtracking his initial statement despite the backlash.
“I stand by what I said,” he mentioned before stating later in the interview, “I don’t have anything against anybody being gay…[and] I think a lot of the LGBT community are great people but some try to bully their lifestyle on people. I don’t think that’s fair.”
See the interview in full above.
[main photo sources: Getty Images/AP Images]