Published on: August 25, 2023, 04:12.
Last updated on August 25, 2023 at 04:12.
Carlos Santana draws criticism for anti-transgender comments he made during a concert at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. The rock guitar legend made these comments last month, but the video showing the comments is only now circulating.
“When God created you and me, you knew who you were and what you were before you came out of the womb,” the 75-year-old rocker told the crowd at the Etess Arena.
As Santana spoke, his bassist and drummer played soft instrumental music, as if in support of a preacher’s sermon.
“Then when you grow up, when you see things and start believing that you can be something that sounds good, you know that’s not true, because a woman is a woman and a man is a man; that’s all,” Santana continued.
When the camera flashed at the audience, about a third of them applauded and many shouted their approval of the message while they were silent.
Clapping her palms, Santana continued, “Whatever you want to do in the closet is your business, I’m okay with that.” “That’s how I am with my brother Dave Chappelle.”
Chapelle was one of the most successful and beloved comedians in the world. He was later criticized for making transphobic jokes on the 2021 Netflix special “The Closer.” While his stand-up career wasn’t cancelled, he lost significant momentum in the vortex that followed.
See the entire clip for yourself below.
Santa Claus apologized only after media outlets began spreading the clip widely on Friday. He did so by posting the following, carefully worded statement on his Facebook fan page:
“I apologize for my callous comments. They don’t reflect that I want to honor and respect the ideals and beliefs of all people. I realize that what I’m saying hurts people and that’s not what I meant. I sincerely apologize to the transgender community and anyone I hurt.
“Here is my personal goal that I try to reach every day. I want to honor and respect the ideals and beliefs of everyone, LGBTQ or not. This is the planet of free will and we are all given this gift. From now on, I will pursue this goal to be happy, have fun, believe what everyone wants and follow it in your heart without fear. It takes courage to grow and shine in the light you are, to be real, genuine and authentic. We grow and learn to shine our light with Love and compliments. Have a glorious existence. Peace.”
Not So Smooth
Reactions on social media were predictably polarized; half of them expressed solidarity and half of them expressed anger.
Twitter user @roller2k3 commented, “He told the truth.” “The trans community wants to force us to stay out of the impossible!”
“Damn Carlos Santana,” tweeted Twitter user @heelmanitoba. “While I’m done with this, fuck every single one of these transphobic idiots. I don’t have the time or energy to waste on hateful, bigoted bullshit or those who adopt them.
Many rock musicians have expressed similar sentiments in recent weeks. In an interview with the music blog stereo gum, Alice Cooper said: “I understand there are cases of transgender people, but I’m afraid that’s also a fashion. It seems wrong to me to have a six-year-old boy who has no idea. She just wants to play and you confuse her by saying, ‘Yes, you’re a boy, but you can be a girl if you want’.”
KISS’s Paul Stanley and Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider were also criticized for describing gender-focused care for children as “a sad and dangerous fashion”. Snider’s comment resulted in him being removed from the San Francisco Pride roster.
What makes this situation so shocking is that Santana, who performed at the original Woodstock, regularly praises peace and equality icons Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon and Bob Marley at his concerts.