Sia, a singer who appears on Eminem’s “Beautiful Pain” off The Marshall Mathers LP 2, has agreed to donate her fee for the record to the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center.
“I know personally that he is not homophobic, but a performance artist,” Sia, who identifies as “queer,” said on Twitter recently. “I would never work with someone I believed to be homophobic. I respect that he can be misinterpreted in the worst way by the ignorami, and that scares me, but I respect him as an artist and person. He has a character called Slim Shady who represents the worst and darkest bile of America. I see how it can be unclear. But I assure you he is not homophobic himself.”
According to lagaycenter.org, the Center has a mission to assist the LGBT community.
“The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center provides a broad array of services for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, welcoming nearly a quarter-million client visits from ethnically diverse youth and adults each year,” the site says. “Through its Jeffrey Goodman Special Care Clinic and on-site pharmacy, the Center offers free and low-cost health, mental health, HIV/AIDS medical care and HIV/STD testing and prevention. The Center also offers legal, social, cultural, and educational services, with unique programs for seniors, families and youth, including a 24-bed transitional living program for homeless youth.”
Eminem has been criticized throughout his career for his use of slurs against people who are gay. Most recently, Boy George criticized Eminem for “Rap God.”
“Fag? Is this really recovery talk or are you running your own program these days?” George tweeted. “Really unhelpful.”
Eminem’s “Rap God” features comments regarding people who are gay.
“I’ll still be able to break a motherfuckin’ table over the back of a couple of faggots and crack it in half,” Eminem says on the song. “You fags are all the same.”
Eminem continues on the selection.
“Little gay-looking boy,” Eminem says. “So gay I can barely say it with a straight face-looking boy / You witnessing massacre like you watching a church gathering taking place-looking boy / ‘Oy vey, that boy’s gay,’ that’s all they say looking-boy / You take a thumbs up, pat on the back, the way you go from your label every day-looking boy.”
In a recent Rolling Stone article, Eminem addressed criticism of his lyrics.
“Not saying it’s wrong or it’s right, but at this point in my career – man, I say so much shit that’s tongue-in-cheek,” Eminem said. “I poke fun at other people, myself. But the real me sitting here right now talking to you has no issues with gay, straight, transgender, at all. I’m glad we live in a time where it’s really starting to feel like people can live their lives and express themselves. And I don’t know how else to say this, I still look at myself the same way that I did when I was battling and broke…I think people know my personal stance on things and the personas that I create in my music. And if someone doesn’t understand that by now, I don’t think there’s anything I can do to change their mind about it.”