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Macy Gray says “transphobic” comments were “grossly misunderstood”

The US singer had faced backlash after saying that it "doesn’t make you a woman just ‘cause I call you a her and just because you got a surgery"

By Hollie Geraghty

Macy Gray wears a collared shirt and brown jumper on 'Piers Morgan Uncensored'
Macy Gray on 'Piers Morgan Uncensored' (Picture: YouTube)

Macy Gray has said she was “grossly misunderstood” after facing backlash for “transphobic” comments made on Piers Morgan Uncensored.

The ‘I Try’ singer appeared on Monday’s (July 4) show during which the topic of trans athletes in sport was debated.

Asked to describe what a woman is, Gray said: “I’d say a human being with boobs. You have to start there. And a vagina! That’s getting confusing.”

She added: “I will say this and everyone’s gonna hate me but as a woman, just because you go change your [body] parts, doesn’t make you a woman, sorry.”

“Like if you want me to call you a her, I will, ‘cause that’s what you want, but that doesn’t make you a woman just ‘cause I call you a her and just because you got a surgery.”

She continued that “women go through completely unique experiences and surgery or finding yourself doesn’t change that”.

When Morgan suggested that the singer may face similar criticism to J.K. Rowling, who has been widely labelled a TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) by the trans community, she replied: “But it’s the truth.”

“And I don’t think you should be called transphobic just because you don’t agree with, you know… there’s a lot of judgement and throwing stones at people for just saying what it is.’ 

The singer was met with widespread criticism online, including a statement from pop festival Mighty Hoopla where she performed last month.

The festival wrote in a statement: “We are extremely disappointed by the comments made by Macy Gray on Piers Morgan’s Uncensored TalkTV.

“As an artist at our 2022 event, we would like to make it clear that we do not agree with the insensitive and transphobic statement she made.”

But Gray has since taken to social media in an attempt to clarify her comments.

“i got nothing but love for  lgbt+ and transgender communities,’ she wrote in now-deleted tweets (via Metro). ‘i’ve been a supporter since day one and never a fake one. 

“my statement on piers morgan was GROSSLY misunderstood.  i respect everyone’s right to be whoever they wana be.”

J.K. Rowling tweeted yesterday (July 5), that “today feels like a good day to ensure I’ve bought @MacyGraysLife’s entire back catalogue”.

Gray’s comments were made on the same day that Hocus Pocus star Bette Midler faced similar criticism for her views on using the word “women”, claiming that women are “being stripped of our rights over our bodies, our lives and even our name.”

She has since posted a series of follow-up tweets, in which she wrote that there was “no intention of anything exclusionary or transphobic in what I said; it wasn’t about that.”