'It's about knowledge/attitudes in the 50s & 60s' - Tom Jones responds to backlash over 'homophobic' comments
The singer said that he was 'paranoid' about gay people and that they are 'not normal' when reminiscing about when he first moved to London
Tom Jones has faced criticism for comments he made about gay people, which were said to be homophobic.
The 75-year-old was speaking of his experience when he first visited London, and was "thrown off" when he found out that his producer, the late Joe Meek, was gay.
He said that he became paranoid about whether his managers were gay, and that the whole experience made him consider moving back to Wales.
In an interview for The Big Issue, the 75-year-old said: "I was ready for most aspects of the music industry but, when I met [him - Joe Meek], that threw me off a bit, because he was a homosexual.
"I thought: “Wait a minute, is the London scene - the people who run British showbusiness - are there a lot of homosexuals involved here? Because, if so, I’m going back to Cardiff.”
He added: "When I signed with Decca, and Peter Sullivan became my manager . . . I said: “You’re not one of these queer fellows, are you?” and he said: “What are you on about?”
"I became paranoid, you see. I wondered, was that required to make a hit record?"
The singer then expressed his relief that most men in the music business were, as he described it, "normal".
Realising that he may have put his foot in his mouth, he attempted to backtrack.
The crooner said: "Well, I shouldn’t put it like that. Homosexuals are normal, it’s not that they’re not normal. It’s just that they are what they are."
Sir Tom has responded on Twitter: Context! The story is about knowledge/attitudes in the 50s & 60s. it's called History!"
People had mixed views about what was said. Some thought as he was talking about his views from decades ago, that he was not being homophobic - but others clearly thought that the crooner should not have made those comments at all.
One wrote, "@RealSirTomJones as a gay guy I get it @RealSirTomJones it was a different era and you had a lot to learn. Well done for admitting it".
However, Gareth Thomas wrote, "I can 100% say this article reflects a time gap and having met @RealSirTomJones he is in NO WAY homophobic."