After James Arthur's surprisingly homophobic rap from a couple of days back comes the attempt PR fightback. You'll recall Arthur called another musician "a fucking queer", so it's quite a hole he's got to dig himself out of.
It might be best to be careful how you go about it, James. I mean, you don't want to just crash in and send a bunch of ill-considered Tweets.
In a series of tweets which have now been deleted, Arthur apologised for using the homophobic slur...Oh.
The Mirror has published the tweets, in which Arthur commented: "I just have to say I'm extremely disappointed in myself for being so naive with the diss track I made for an unknown rapper recently."I think we can all understand where he's coming from - weren't we all young and naive once, calling people "fucking queer" in all innocence?
Arthur's really off to a bad start here, because he's supposed to be contrite, but he's actually rather elegantly including a sly dig at Micky Worthless. Pulling a deft move like that might be ill-advised if you're going to try and argue you didn't really know what you were doing.
But sorry, James: You were telling us how calling someone a fucking queer is alright, yes?
I Would just like to make it completely clear that it was not meant in anyway as a reference to homosexualityOh, that's okay then. It was one of those queerbashing that isn't a bashing of queers.
Hang on a moment, what?
I realise where the term has come from in meaningYes, you would. Because what else could you have meant by it?
but used in the context of the rap battles I have grown up with it has come to mean something completely differentAh, James. I see: we thought you'd used a gay slur aimed at a straight man because you thought it was a way of attacking him, but actually you were trying to create a teaching moment for the rest of us who hear straight people yelling "queer" and think we know exactly what's going on.
Let's look at this in the context of those rap battles Arthur has grown up on - presumably he means the ones on Pokemon and Tracy Beaker, where they're always calling each other 'fucking queers' - and see how the context helps, shall we?
That said, I understand why it could cause offence and that definitely wasn't my intention.You were trying to insult a man by calling him gay. In what way was the intention not to be offensive?
Some of the things said in this rap can be mistaken for homophobic slursYeah, that's the funny thing about 'fucking queer' - it's surprising how often that gets mistaken for a homophobic slur in this day and age. Why, I've pretty much stopped writing 'you fucking queer' in Christmas cards these days as people take it all wrong when they open them.
and I assure you homophobia is something I do not believe inJames, given you're clearly a stupid man, I wouldn't be surprised to discover gravity is something you don't believe in. But that doesn't stop your toast soldiers from falling on the floor when you drop them.
I have many many gay friendsYou might want to check your voicemail before you assert this so firmly.
Val Doonican used to claim at the start of his BBC One show that "some of his best friends are songs". We would believe him. You know why? Because he hadn't spent the day before running up and down the street yelling out "Max Bygraves is such a cloaca he's like a fucking song."
All you're really doing here, James, is compounding the crime by telling us you've got friends who you're prepared to sell out and trample on in order to score a few points against a rapper. "I have gay friends" merely expands the list of people you've upset, it doesn't get you off the hook. They're not your offence beards.
But sorry, before you told us how many gay friends you have but apparently have never spoken to, you were going to educate us on how in the case of calling someone a fucking queer, the context makes it alright.
In rap feuds/rap disses the words I used have a different intent.Perhaps it's intended as a term of praise?
This is a straight man I was attacking.You realise that is kind of the reason why it's offensive? That you think calling a straight man "gay" is a dis. You do understand that is the whole point of why you are so far in the wrong here? Surely?
A straight man who littered his track...But you're a straight man, too, James.
... with severe homophobic slurs towards me.Well, why didn't you say so? That's alright then. Micky Worthless recorded a rap which flung homophobic insults at you. You returned in kind.
Except you've just been explaining to us rubes that when people use gay slurs in rap battles, they're not actually gay slurs at all. So if you are defending yourself as not actually having used any gay slurs, how come when Worthless does it, these words suddenly ARE slurs, and so terrible they justify you calling him a queer in return?
Like I said though it was a rap dissThat isn't an excuse. It sounds like you've got one of those beliefs - like 'what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas' or 'you can't get pregnant the first time' or 'it doesn't count if you don't kiss them afterwards' - that might offer some sort of befuddled justification in your head but doesn't actually have any basis in any law, whether the Code Napoleon, Law of the Jungle or natural law.
James, you're an idiot homophobic asshat. And just so we're clear: I don't have any idiot homophobe asshat friends, and I'm not calling you that in a rap dis style.