Last month, the mummified pop icon — who has been making the rounds to promote her new single, “Work Bitch”— got into some hot tepid water when she told a San Francisco radio station, “A lot of my hairstylists and my beauty team that I work with are gay, so I hang out with gays a lot, and I just think they’re adorable and hilarious.”
Many people — some of us at Queerty included — found Spears’s appraisal of gays to be demeaning. But at the same time, it’s hard to get mad at her because, bless her heart, she’s been through so much. Even if her words betray some ignorance on her part, she doesn’t seem capable of any malice.
This week, Spears appeared on the British talk show Chatty Man, hosted by a homosexual named Alan Carr. Carr asked Spears about “Work Bitch,” which has become something of an anthem in gay clubs. She responded (somewhat coherently) that she thinks the song demonstrates respect for gays.
“I don’t call everyone…that word,” Spears said. “I just use it as, it’s like in respect to the gays as a term of endearment. It’s like a street slang for everyone, you know, like you get to work, that’s what you do when you get to work and it’s like, cool.”
Um, ok? Spears can’t even bring herself to say “bitch” during the interview. We’re not dealing with someone who’s operating on all cylinders. Look, Spears’s songs are fun to jump around to in sweaty bars with a bunch of other guys. But why not just let that be the extent of it and refocus the conversation on patronizing pop stars who actually can defend themselves?