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Tyrese Gibson Needs an Apology for His Apology Over Those “Sluts, Skeezers, Hoes” Comments

Three steps back, one step forward.

Tyrese shutterstock_265855844

Leading up to the mega success of this weekend’s Fate of the Furious opening, the cast has been doing all the usual promo tour interviews. And, as we so often see, maybe that isn’t always the best idea. Maybe not every actor should be given a platform to prove just how far into their own mouth their foot can go.

Last week, Tyrese Gibson gave an interview to BET in which he offered some pretty horrible dating advice to all the women out there, saying “I appreciate all the ladies out there that are still single, that are holding out. Don’t settle. Don’t settle.”

Sure, “don’t settle” for anyone that doesn’t treat you well, or is otherwise not worthy of your time and affection. That’s solid advice. But then Tyrese kept talking.

Because I’m gonna tell you all right now, and this might be harsh. Sluts, skeezers, hoes, tramps and overly aggressive promiscuous women, they are never without a man because they don’t have no standards. They ready to have sex with any and everything that want to have sex with them. But when you are single, and you actually love yourself, you know your value and your self worth you hold out until God sends you whats yours.

He ends by describing the “women that are active out in these streets”–presumably deliberately invoking language most often used to describe sex work–who are, in his opinion, having too good a time with their social activities.

They’re never without. However, it comes with a cost, you gonna put a lot of miles on yourself down there, come on.

That’s a disgusting, reductive view of women and their decisions regarding their own romantic lives. From the emotional stigma (a lack of standards and self worth) to the physical (seriously? our reproductive system is going to have “a lot of miles” on it?), these are degrading, judgmental attitudes that are 100% based in gender. No one talks about the “miles” or the self worth of a sexually active man. These women Tyrese is describing–who are the men they’re dating? Who are the men spending their money and time on all these different women, and where is the judgment of their choices?

This isn’t the first time, by the way, Tyrese has had to have his ignorant misogyny pointed out to him. Just last year, self-identifying former slut-shamer Amber Rose had to explain to him why a woman’s outfit on the floor of a club doesn’t give him tacit permission to touch her body.

If I’m laying down with a man–butt-naked–and his condom is on, and I say, ‘You know what? No. I don’t want to do this. I changed my mind,’ that means no. That means f—ing no. That’s it… It doesn’t matter how far I take it or what I have on–when I say no, it means no.

Following his latest interview, he offered an apology via Instagram. Unfortunately, it still seems to miss the point.

My mother taught me better than this….. lesson learned in life you will learn that It’s not always “what” you say, it’s the “how” we choose to say it. For the record I’m far from a misogynist, a male chauvinist or flat out mean….. My intentions were there but my delivery fucking horrible…. And clearly all the way off…. And for that I sincerely apologize to all of the ladies… Even after this apology…. Some may likely decide to NOT forgive me…. Time and consistency heals all wounds…. Although I’ve been consistently for years speaking on these topics and some of the same words in my message, I have never experienced what I am experiencing right now. – I’ve been getting dragged and feel the heat from my poor choice of words and approach to my messages, trust me….. Please accept this as my sincere apology for my poor choice of words – Shit gets real when it goes from a social media dragging to my own wife giving me the side eye and coming at me, even she’s not happy with the way I’ve conducted myself…. it’s crazy how non-public figures can say and do some really dumb shit and it will stay amongst your family and friends or local in your hood…. When you have been an entertainer for 15+ years the whole WORLD is literally watching you grow up & learn, bump your head, make mistakes and evolve as the world watches…. This is a real lesson learned… This is not just a regular IG post for me. I want to truly say that I’m sorry, I’m not APOLOGIZING in an effort to be politically correct, I apologize as a man first for the things that I’ve recently said about choices women have the right to make, for the terms that I’ve used and the way I’ve come across. I was raised to think and feel certain ways, and I’m learning new things that combat those messages. I am not perfect or all knowing, nor am I the one to claim to be. I’ve learned things through experience which I share, and through these last couple of weeks, I’ve learned a lot through this well deserved internet dragging…… This is about a man owning up to his actions, taking responsibility, recognizing how to do better, and actually doing better. Ladies you deserve better…

A post shared by TYRESE (@tyrese) on

Let’s break this down.

My mother taught me better than this….. lesson learned in life you will learn that It’s not always “what” you say, it’s the “how” we choose to say it.

No, Tyrese. The problem was most definitely what you said. Both your language and your intentions. Your intentions were to slut-shame. Your language supported that.

For the record I’m far from a misogynist, a male chauvinist or flat out mean…..

You know who rarely has to publicly proclaim themselves not to be misogynists? People who actually aren’t misogynists.

My intentions were there but my delivery fucking horrible…. And clearly all the way off…. And for that I sincerely apologize to all of the ladies…

Again, this wasn’t an issue of bad delivery. This wasn’t a standup routine gone bad. It was a horribly chauvinistic, demeaning interview.

He goes on to say that he’s been getting reprimanded by both social media and his wife, whom he married just a few months ago.

[It’s] crazy how non-public figures can say and do some really dumb shit and it will stay amongst your family and friends or local in your hood…. When you have been an entertainer for 15+ years the whole WORLD is literally watching you grow up & learn, bump your head, make mistakes and evolve as the world watches…. This is a real lesson learned…

With great fame comes great responsibility, and whether he wants to be or not, he’s a role model for a lot of men out there. At the very least, his words have a platform to reach huge numbers of people. So when he “bumps his head” when spewing his misogynistic views of women, it can do real damage due to the number of impressionable ears tuned to his words.

Still, some of Tyrese’s apology does ring true, and speaks to what we’re always asking of those who feel the need to speak to life choices they’ll never experience directly: just listen. Listen and learn from those they’re speaking about.

I want to truly say that I’m sorry, I’m not APOLOGIZING in an effort to be politically correct, I apologize as a man first for the things that I’ve recently said about choices women have the right to make, for the terms that I’ve used and the way I’ve come across. I was raised to think and feel certain ways, and I’m learning new things that combat those messages.

He doesn’t exactly say what he’s learned, which is unfortunate, since, again, there are a lot of men out there who need to hear someone like Tyrese articulate exactly why slut-shaming is an inappropriate way to view and talk about women. But he at least seems sincere in admitting his words were harmful and misguided.

I’ve learned things through experience which I share, and through these last couple of weeks, I’ve learned a lot through this well deserved internet dragging…… This is about a man owning up to his actions, taking responsibility, recognizing how to do better, and actually doing better. Ladies you deserve better…

Yes, we do. We all deserve better than to have a famous man giving credence to the idea that women’s actions are subject to mockery and judgment from men looking to control our behavior. We deserve more than this apology, too, but it’s a step in the right direction, I suppose. Even if it does feel like three steps back, one step forward.

(via Refinery29, image: Shutterstock)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.

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