Croydon’s celebrated rapper Stormzy has apologised for homophobic comments made on Twitter between 2011 and 2014.
The apology came after his tweets, which used words like “faggot”, were exposed by LGBT+ news website PinkNews on November 21.
In a series of remorseful tweets, Stormzy said the “hurtful” comments were made when he was “young and proudly ignorant”.
“The comments I made were unacceptable and disgusting, full stop. [These are] comments that I regret and to everyone I’ve offended, I am sorry. These are attitudes I’ve left in the past,” he tweeted on November 22, the day after the PinkNews exposé.
Expressing regret, he said the homophobic words were part of his vocabulary when he was younger.
“Ignorance made me feel comfortable to use them whilst not understanding the hate and the ramifications they carry.
“This isn’t an excuse; I take responsibility for my mistakes and hope you can understand that my younger self doesn’t reflect who I am today”.
I said some foul and offensive things whilst tweeting years ago at a time when I was young and proudly ignorant. Very hurtful and discriminative views that I’ve unlearned as I’ve grown up and become a man..
— #GSAP (@Stormzy1) November 22, 2017
Most who replied to Stormzy’s repentant tweets accepted his explanation and commended him for apologising, but some were sceptical.
@PaulMCW7 said: “You’re only protecting your business interests with this terrible apology. You don’t mean it. Disgraceful views that you have.
“No one is perfect for a minute but if he wasn’t famous would he be retracting? Of course not. All about the £££s and protecting his interests.”
Another, @Illidge4Mark, told Stormzy: “You’re just trying to be politically correct now… I have no idea what you said, but deep down, you still believe it. You’re just worried about the press/public reaction.”
Some Twitter users urged the artist to follow up by donating to an organisation that supports the LGBT+ community or another that speaks about homophobia at London schools.
PinkNews reported that the chart-topping artist used homophobic language in at least 19 tweets sent between the ages of 18 and 21.
He said it was “proper gay” for men to be dancing, and referred to gay characters in the popular TV series EastEnders as “fucking fags”, PinkNews reported.
He also asked other Twitter users if they were “a fag” or “faggot” after they said they used hair straighteners, according to screenshots of Stormzy’s old tweets that were published by PinkNews.
The artist, who hails from Thornton Heath, released his debut album Gangs, Signs & Prayer on Feb 24. It was the first grime album to reach number one on the UK Albums chart.
Stormzy has won multiple MOBO Awards since 2014, the year he released his debut EP, Dreamers Disease.
He was nominated for a Brit Award in 2016 and won Best Solo Artist at the GQ Men of the Year Awards last September.
In July, he was named Oxford University African & Caribbean Society’s Person of The Year.