ALL THAT REMAINS frontman Phil Labonte has defended his comments about the obstacles faced by the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender (LGBT) community and has accused the harshest critics of his remarks of supporting freedom of speech as long as it’s speech they approve of.
Addressing his use of a homophobic slur nearly a decade ago in a new interview with Revolver magazine, Labonte said: “I have nothing against gay people. It’s just a word… I think the only people that have a legit grievance when it comes to any racial slurs is the black community.” Adding that he was not trying the “minimize” the plight of the LGBT community, he continued that “homosexuals were never property,” and that even though they have “had a rough time,” the “black community has a whole lot more room to be upset about a word than the LGBT community.”
Labonte also said about his use of the slur, “I know the homosexual community has problems with it and I understand their hurt feelings.”
But Labonte also remarked, “I don’t know that you need a whole social movement. When it comes to the shit that black people have gone through, I think it’s okay to be, like, ‘Well you know, that was seriously fucked up. We need to do something about this.'”
After Labonte‘s comments were posted online, most people reacted negatively, with some going as far as to wish death upon the singer.
In a new Facebook post, Labonte addressed the controversy his Revolver comments generated, saying: “Seen a lot of brouhaha on the interwebs about the Revolver article. Of course lots of people are saying I should be beat up or killed or I should kill myself. So, basically the blogs [and] commenters on said blogs are saying this: ‘freedom of speech, so long as you don’t offend me.’ So these people are of the same mindset of the people who said the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris were justified because some things are just too offensive.”
He continued: “I fully understand that to some people it is offensive to hear the word ‘f****t.’ I get it, you’re fragile and words give you ouchies. But remember what you’re asking for when you decry protecting the freedom of speech.”
ALL THAT REMAINS will release its seventh studio album, “The Order Of Things”, on February 24. The first single is called “This Probably Won’t End Well”.
The band will kick off a tour with IN FLAMES in Agoura Hills, California on February 20.