Madonna Lashed For Allegedly Using “Gay” As A “Negative Slur”

Madonna-in-gay-controversy-289x300Madonna’s classic foot-in-mouth disease has landed her in hot water again this week, as a number of outraged Buzzfeed commenters have accused the 55-year-old entertainer of being “homophobic” for using the word “gay” as a “negative slur.”

The Queen of Pop sat down with Buzzfeed to play a word association game earlier this week, presumably in an effort to drum up early buzz for her upcoming album, and used the word “GAY” to describe both Vladimir Putin and kale, the leafy green vegetable.

No one has taken issue with the fact that Madonna used “gay” in a combative way to describe disdain for Putin’s antigay legislation, or that she horrifically described Crocs as “effective.” She is, however, “homophobic” for describing kale as “gay.”

Nevermind her decades of LGBT advocacy, the inspiration she’s drawn from the gay community, and her close friendships with a number of power gays. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the word police recently, it’s that any word can be offensive if the right person has an ax to grind.

“How is kale homosexual?”, one commenter writes. “Or is she just using gay as an insult………. how irresponsible! I am poor and love tennis. Not to mention she is epitome of white trash lol. Ughhhh moving on.”

Another chimes in: “I am surprised she used the word “gay” to mean “bad.” I thought she was more sensitive than that.”

Surely #kalegate is not as bad as the rightful backlash Madge received over using the N-word on Instagram in January, but it’s apparently enough to leave a bad taste in a few people’s mouths. Like kale.

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  • Proudofit

    Good grief people,,,,,,,,,, get a life. We call each other worse names than that in in this world. Leave her alone. She’s done more to help than hender,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  • jar

    I’d love to know about Madonna’s decades of gay advocacy. What exactly has she done? Sure, she said the word gay back in the day, but she was selling albums. Madonna, for all of her money and fame, has never been much of a philanthropist. So, when has she ever put anything on the line for us? I’d like to know.

  • miki

    Madonna homophobic? Wtf, fight with real enemy, like Putin not Madonna !!!

  • Cam


    It isn’t about people calling each other names. It is about the word that labels an entire group of people being used as a slur by her.

    If somebody asked what she thought about Putin and she said “Mexican”, and then asked her about “Kale” and she said “Mexican” lets not try to pretend that La Raza and other groups would not be upset.

    As for her supposedly LGBT advocacy, an SNL skit she happened to be in, that was written by other people and starred the one openly gay actor SNL has ever had is not “Decades of LGBT advocacy”

  • redcarpet

    And here I thought Buzzfeed hipsters had a sense of irony. She called Putin that in an ironic sense since he is such a bigot.

    As for kale, well it’s high in fiber and lord knows the gays have to keep a healthy GI tract.

  • tardis

    Madonna is an ally. BFD.

  • Allen D.

    @Cam: That’s really all the LGBT advocacy you know about? God, do some research. She has done TONS.

    Calling Putin “Gay” is funny.

    And maybe, just maybe, a health nut like Madonna LIKES kale….? Think about it.

  • lykeitiz

    Many homophobes like Putin are in fact gay.

    I know for sure that I am gay, and I happen to have leftover kale I cooked last night in my fridge.

    So….she’s right on both counts.

  • Aries3dc

    @jar: Dear God, please tell me you’re joking.

  • hyhybt

    Calling kale “gay” doesn’t sound to me like it’s using the word to mean bad, but that it’s more in line with gay taste.

  • erikwm

    It’s not clear from the context that she is using gay as a pejorative.

  • Niall

    She might have really meant “gay” though, using the notion that the most homophobic ones are usually closeted, not that she was really saying “gay” as in bad.


    Kale is gay because it is delicious, nutritious and healthy. Putin is gay because most homophobes are secretly gay. I see no homophobia here.

  • Derek Williams

    Madonna’s rock solid track record of supporting LGBT equality, even when it was potential career death to do so, proves she neither hates nor disrespects us.

    Leave it alone, and leave her in peace.

  • Yahoo Thom

    Madonna is an HONORARY LGBT American. She has done a lot for our Community, we use fag, queer, gurl, gay all the time to be funny. She has proven herself an advocate for gay rights…LET IT GO! Too much DRAMA!

  • Yahoo Thom

    By the way, Madonna is right KALE is SO GAY…and so am I!

  • David Colman

    Kale is gay.

    Has no one else read Kale’s courageous coming-out story in Crudité Today about how it left the midwest, moved to New York and became the overnight sensation of the A-list salad scene? And never once let those years of getting bullied by broccoli and cauliflower keep it “down on the farm”?

    You guys need to do your homework.

  • A Mod Squad

    She is not using “gay” as a negative slur.

    When she responded to Putin with the word “gay,” I took that to be matter-of-fact, like we have a closet case on our hands who is lashing out to deal with his own internal issues.

    As for Kale, its trendy, it’s in, all the gays add it to their protein shakes and lord knows we are always starting the trends. She hit the nail on the head again.

    Very matter of fact. This article is ridiculous. Stop throwing our gay advocates and supporters under the bus for nothing. It awkward.

  • A Mod Squad

    She is not using “gay” as a negative slur.

    When she responded to Putin with the word “gay,” I took that to be matter-of-fact, like we have a closet case on our hands who is lashing out to deal with his own internal issues.

    As for Kale, its trendy, it’s in, all the gays add it to their protein shakes and lord knows we are always starting the trends. She hit the nail on the head again.

    Very matter of fact. This article is ridiculous. Stop throwing our gay advocates and supporters under the bus for nothing. Its awkward.

  • RayJacksonMs

    I think he’s a self loathing closet case with short man’s disease too. We’ve called a lot of the GOP self loathing closet cases ourselves so this is no big deal.

  • Dc

    she looks a bit like Emily Litella

  • scotshot

    Remember Donna Summer? Made millions off gays and then turned around and stabbed us in the back? Now that was one real c***, when she realized all of her income came from gays, she came crawling back and wasn’t understandably forgiven. Madonna? Losing touch and not always too smart. Give her a chance and stop being so sensitive.

  • hotshot70

    She is getting old. Senility is creeping in. She needs to step out of limelight and age more graceful.

  • gauty

    She’s one of the best allies we’ve ever had in mainstream pop, and I love that she still has zero fucks to give about the PC butthurt that’s threatening to turn us all into fucking nuns. I wish I could say the same about Rupaul, but she sorely disappointed me by bowing down to the word police for her use of “she-mail”…

  • robho3

    Madonna is not homophobic but she is irritating and irrelevant in 2014 and I wish she would just go to her castle and retire in silence.

  • Mezaien

    Madonna, tell them all to suck eggs.

  • Curtispsf

    I’m not the world police; I’ll leave that to others. I would like to know, however, of one single contribution of $$ that Madonna has made to gay causes. Please don’t start that “all she has done for the gay community”.
    She has supported causes but she made a ton of money off the gay community. We helped make her the icon she is.

    Where’s the money??

  • gymmuscleboy

    What I think some of you fail to recognise here is that rather than implying that Putin was “lame” by calling him “GAY”, she was actually just teasing him by telling him that he is what he rejects in others. She’s not necessarily implying anything negative about gay people! If you know of just ONE thing she has done to help the gay community, it is hard to imagine that she intended to associate “gay” with “lame”.

  • Derek Williams

    @Curtispsf: Whatever “ton of money” Madonna may or not have made from the “gay community”, is at best, guesswork, since there aren’t meters in stores and online measuring the sexual orientation of purchasers – but here’s the thing: we are a minority and therefore nowhere near as statistically significant as the 90-95% of the population who are not gay, and a substantial proportion of whom hate gays.

    Therefore, anyone who stands up for LGBT equality is ALWAYS acting on principle regardless of which way the money flows.

    People who donate to LGBT causes, including myself, don’t always yell about it from the rooftops. For all you know, Madonna may be a major contributor, or she may not, at least financially.

    That is irrelevant, and might even be counter-productive. What matters is that a major star stood up to be counted among our allies, at a time when it could be career suicide. Even now, the jury’s still out as to whether it’s smart to disclose being gay, let alone merely supporting gay causes. I place greater value on such political outspokenness and sound reasoning and advocacy than on financial support, attractive though that obviously is to you.

  • GlitterKidder

    Who is she?
    Lets face it the old twat is just trying, way too hard, to remain relevant. She’s old, she’s tired, and she’s so 1985, I was there in the beginning. Yes I’m old too!
    And for all of you getting your panties in a twist because of my opinion, get over it! Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one, and everyone thinks everyone else’s stinks!

  • Derek Williams

    @GlitterKidder: Offensive posts like the one you just wrote remind me why there is homophobia in the world. Half the time, we’re fighting the enemy within.

  • hyhybt

    @Curtispsf: i don’t know what money, if any, she’s directly given to anything. But popular entertainers have a power to shape causes and public opinion, especially over as long a career as she’s had, that dwarfs anything the mere direct application of cash could accomplish.

  • oldbrit

    I love Kale cuz it’s so healthy and gay.

  • BigJohnSF


  • jonjct

    @jar: never

  • BritAus

    @Aries3dc: He’s obviously a 20 something twink with no clue.

  • BritAus

    @hotshot70: We’re all getting old sweetheart, just like your bad ageist attitude.

  • BritAus

    @robho3: I find you irritating and irrelevant. Are you going to go off and retire now because of my opinion or when YOU are only 56? If she wants to go on performing till shes 80 than good for her. Last year Forbes Magazine listed her as the highest paid entertainer for 2013 for her MDNA Tour. She still has an audience that wants to see her. So retirement reschirement, :-)

  • BritAus

    @GlitterKidder: Wow. A lot of self loathing there and it sounds like you’re scared of your own mortality. Good luck with that.

  • QuintoLover

    I’m a new Madonna fan (I literally just decided to listen to her entire studio album discography like three days ago when Queerty listed their favorites) but even I know that she’s done a LOT for us. But of course that is NOT enough for some people. Some people just expect the world of celebrities. Yes, she makes a lot of money and is world famous but what more do you want her to do? Talk about us every single interview she ever does? Every second? Campaign for President so she can extend our rights? Give her a break.

  • christineisalesbian

    I like kale

  • DarkZephyr

    I’m not in the slightest bit offended that she used the word “gay”. Let’s not go Parker Marie Molloy on her for God’s sake. As a gay teen in the 90s I will never forget the song “In This Life” from her “Erotica” which to me was clearly from the perspective of a woman who had some very dear gay friends that had died (possibly of AIDS, one young and one older) and were subjected to homophobia during their lives and it broke her heart. It felt so good to me then that she clearly cared about us.

  • inbama

    Maybe it’s time to shut down GLAAD and their annual self-congratulatory party. We’re becoming a bunch of ridiculous wusses.

  • SteveDenver

    I’m not a huge fan — don’t own any of her music — but I do know that Madonna has made huge strides for gay visibility and out, open integration into her entertainment aesthetic. She thinks kale is gay, so what? She thinks Putin is gay, I get the irony.

  • jaleoman

    Madonna and Cher would performing in theaters, if would
    Not be for the support of the gay community.
    Madonna has made millions and has made her
    Career using the gay community, pretending to be
    Bisexual when was convenient for her,to get
    The gay community support, when she is straight

    We need to start supporting our gays and lesbian
    Artist, not the heterosexuals one pretending to be straight,
    Because it helps their career.

  • Faggot


    What is a heterosexual who pretends to be sraight?!

    The Madonna bashing in a few of the comments here all boil down to one thing: ENVY. Madonna envy is ugly.

  • Vallin

    Dark hearty greens are great in salads, with cheese and Thousand Island…. ;)

  • Sebizzar

    I’m someone who is usually sensitive but this is just ridiculous.

  • michael mellor

    When will gay men start supporting genuine gay male role models instead of women like Madonna? These girls aren’t here for us. They’re here to take our money.

  • jar

    @Derek Williams: Please provide an example or two of a straight artist whose career was hurt by being supportive of gay and lesbian Americans. And I find it laughable to dismiss the role G&L folks played in Madonna’s success. Her music was first played in gay clubs and we’ve always had a significant impact in the world of dance music.

  • jar

    @Aries3dc: I note you fail to provide an actual response to my query.

  • jar

    @QuintoLover: Yet another generic claim of support with no actual evidence to back it up. What exactly has Madonna done for us aside from running her mouth to get attention? I’m not saying she’s not supportive, but I see no evidence of actual advocacy. And at this point, the inability of those who are “shocked” by the question to provide an actual response is telling. I would look to Madonna’s actions regarding Malawi to see the difference between her stance and her actions.

  • Derek Williams

    @jar: I never said there was no support from gay clubs, but it is not true to claim that without support of our minuscule 5% of the population Madonna would have no career, in fact it’s a certainty that she could have succeeded without it with politics as they were at that time.

    In the early days when Madonna was speaking out in LGBT advocacy, one’s career could be ended by being openly gay, and in most of the world, still can, thus to do so was an act of courage, and one that did not need to be made to survive as an artist.

    The huge majority of successful artists don’t comment on LGBT issues at all, and seem to get by just fine with their careers.

    All this goes to illustrate that when a public figure comes out in support of LGBT equality, this should be respected and appreciation shown, and that doesn’t seem to be the case with this thread, where many are assuming the worst possible motives, and fabricating an enemy out of one of our staunchest allies.

  • jar

    @Derek Williams: Fair enough on your first paragraph. The second is nonresponsive. You claimed she supported us to her potential detriment, but have provided no actual support for the claim. The plight of openly G&L artists is irrelevant to this claim. The third paragraph is true, but also irrelevant. On the fourth, I agree that support should be appreciated and I have no problem showing her some appreciation (especially since some here found her music uplifting in their youth). But this does not equal “decades of LGBT advocacy.” On that, no one has provided any actual evidence to support the claim.

  • Derek Williams

    @jar: At that time, it wasn’t known whether there would be detrimental impact or not, so she was taking a career risk, and what’s more, for all we know it could have been a negative impact. I certainly recall it being controversial at the time. Many asked “why is she doing this?”

    I don’t see why everyone who does something to help the cause of LGBT equality along the way has to have their effort looked down upon because it doesn’t match “decades of LGHT advocacy” of hardline activists. Surely anything that helps should be greeted with appreciation.

    Powerful people like Madonna make far better friends than they do enemies. Quite apart from being the decent thing to do to back support when it is given, I don’t see the strategic advantage in going after her jugular, over a statement that has yet to be proven to be homophobic in the first place.

  • inbama

    Last week, RuPaul.
    When will this sickening sissified self-righteous speech-policing end?

  • jar

    @Derek Williams: At least you now admit that your view is merely your personal speculation, based, I would assume, upon your fondness for Madonna, but not any actual facts. That’s cool, so long as your opinion is not being passed off as fact. Madonna’s entire career has been based upon courting controversy (in a pubescent manner IMO). So, I find it difficult to accept your perception of real risk of harm to her career. Her gay statements were not much different than her pseudo-feminist rantings. All for show and attention IMO. And I do not know anyone who questioned, why is she doing this? And her gay fans were legion here in NYC at the time.

    You also engage in a strawman argument. I have not derided Madonna in this thread. I have merely asked for support for the claim that she is a longtime advocate for GLBT causes. I note that yet again no evidence is forthcoming. You have a clear recall of the risk she took, but cannot point to any actions/advocacy to support the claim beyond the mere mouthing of words by her.

  • mpwaite

    Girl, lose the glasses.. you look like Emily Latella from Saturday Night Live..

  • GeriHew

    @jaleoman: “Pretending to be Bisexual”???

    You mean to say you think Jenny Shimizu was lying when she wrote in her memoirs that: “Madonna would fly her to destinations across the world for sexual liaisons. I was her secret ‘booty call’ available any time of the day or night for secret sex sessions.” ?

    Personally I don’t. Jenny Shimizu is a butch lesbian who always seems to get involved with femmes who appear to prefer relationships with men – and that sounds like Madge to me. Even though she apparently claimed she and Jenny were just “good friends”.

  • Derek Williams

    @jar: “Admit”? Is that how you see this, as adversarial point scoring? (Rhetorical question – read on).

    Your rationale is that Madonna took no real risk, and that anything she said in LGBT advocacy was solely to feather her own nest, because of what you see as the too big to ignore buying power of the perceived gay dollar.

    The size of the gay demographic is not known exactly but it’s certainly a minority that can be ignored with impunity. The only way we exercise any power is therefore through the advocacy of our allies, namely friends, family and politicians.

    Any public figure therefore, be they Madonna or anyone else, who speaks out is always taking a risk they don’t need to take, even though you might think it to be dwarfed by others who take a comparatively bigger risk. They can say nothing at all and still make their millions if the public want to buy their records or other product.

    Madonna is not an enemy of the LGBT cause, nor is she a bystander. She is clearly an ally, and I don’t see any advantage to be gained in bickering over the minutiae of precisely how big an ally she is.

    We can agree to disagree, or you can keep raking over these coals, but this is my last response. If you want to keep nitpicking, your next post on this will be ignored, by me at least.

  • Blackceo

    Whoever wrote this article needs to take several seats.

  • jar

    @Derek Williams: I am not trying to scroe points. I merely asked a pertinent question. You have tap-danced all around it, but never provided a response. I have no interest in continuing in this back and forth, as it consists primarily of my asking the question and you deflecting it. Tedium, to be sure.

  • GeriHew

    @Derek Williams: Madonna probably doesn’t take her own bisexuality seriously enough anymore to be irritated at being described as an “ally” of the LGBT community rather than as a member of it. However I doubt that Lady Gaga feels the same way about it.

  • Maude

    IMO, Most of the time a ‘gay slur’ would only be a ‘slur’, if the person it is directed at, considers it so.

  • Chico

    @Derek Williams: This!!!! I mean, everyone one knows the gays buy, buy, buy… But our gay dollars are confined the elasticity of our minority status. It doesn’t go as far as some would like us to believe.

Comments are closed.