John Mayer Spews Racism, Sexism, Homophobia in Playboy Interview

Life is not good for John Mayer this week.  After giving a truly terrible interview to Playboy magazine, in which he used the “n”-word and babbled extensively about his relationship with Jessica Simpson, he broke down onstage last night and apologized to his bandmates, some of who are African-American.

“In the quest to be clever,” he said, “I completely forgot about the people that I love and that love me.  I thought that if I was speedy and witty and pulled together as many fast words and phrases as I could, I would be clever enough to buy myself another day without anybody pinning me down and saying, ‘You’re a creep.’”

The thing is, this reaction was actually pretty lacking in the sentiment that John Mayer should have had.  To give you a sense for how horrifying the interview was, I have excerpted some choice quotes (and edited for profanity).  If you want to read the whole thing, it’s linked here, but be warned – it’s definitely not safe for work.

“I come on very strong…. That’s why black people love me….. Someone asked me the other day, ‘What does it feel like now to have a hood pass?’ And by the way, it’s sort of a contradiction in terms, because if you really had a hood pass, you could call it a nigger pass. Why are you pulling a punch and calling it a hood pass if you really have a hood pass? But I said, ‘I can’t really have a hood pass. I’ve never walked into a restaurant, asked for a table and been told, ‘We’re full.’”

Or this one:

“PLAYBOY: Do black women throw themselves at you?
MAYER: I don’t think I open myself to it. My dick is sort of like a white supremacist. I’ve got a Benetton heart and a f*ckin’ David Duke c*ck.”

Or this one:

“What is being black? It’s making the most of your life, not taking a single moment for granted. Taking something that’s seen as a struggle and making it work for you, or you’ll die inside. Not to say that my struggle is like the collective struggle of black America. But maybe my struggle is similar to one black dude’s.”

And this one:

“I feel like women are getting their comeuppance against men now. I hear about man-whores more than I hear about whores. When women are whorish, they’re owning their sexuality. When men are whorish, they’re disgusting beasts. I think they’re paying us back for a double standard that’s lasted for a hundred years.”

And one more:

“The only man I’ve kissed is Perez Hilton. It was New Year’s Eve and I decided to go out and destroy myself. I was dating Jessica [Simpson] at the time, and I remember seeing Perez Hilton flitting about this club and acting as though he had just invented homosexuality. All of a sudden I thought, I can outgay this guy right now. I grabbed him and gave him the dirtiest, tongue-iest kiss I have ever put on anybody—almost as if I hated fags. I don’t think my mouth was even touching when I was tongue kissing him, that’s how disgusting this kiss was. I’m a little ashamed. I think it lasted about half a minute. I really think it went on too long.”

If you made it through all of those quotes without tearing out your hair or breaking some furniture, congratulations.  All of these were from the same intervew – Mayer managed to make homophobic, sexist and racist comments within the span of probably 20 minutes.  His apology, which appeared on Twitter, only mentioned his use of the “n”-word, which was certainly problematic, but only a small part of the torrent of offensive comments that seems to constantly pour out of him.  And his subsequent “breakdown” and further apologies, citing his need to be “edgy” and “witty,” seems just like more narcissism. 

The only thing I can say is that we need to stop paying attention to this man.  Last night, the crowd at his concert cheered when he said that his bandmates were onstage with him “because they support myself as a possible future grown-up.”  Apart from the dubious grammar (and perhaps this is also because I don’t really like Mayer’s music), this is not enough.  Acting like an adult is not giving this interview in the first place.  Staging a breakdown during a concert only draws more attention to him in the long run, and gives him more time on the cover of Us Weekly – which, inevitably, is all that I think Mayer wants.


Photo from P Keigan's Flickr photostream.


Tyler S.
Tyler S.3 years ago

I think the article is nearly more offensive than the quotes are. The quotes are not really bad, aside from the white supremacist penis comment. Really, I had to comment because this POLITICALLY CORRECT GARBAGE has to stop. No one in their right mind is breaking furniture over this, and this care2 site must be run by feminists who hate freedom of speech. NIGG3R Fart SH!t GAY H0m0Phobia P3nis v4gina .... Hopefully my politically incorrect rant cures your illness, and Oprah will burn in Hell forever.

Dylan Reynolds
Dylan Reynolds5 years ago

dear sir or vagina:

regarding pro-gay bigotry:

as a gay "man" or masculivoid, please keep in mind that i lust for my own gender, i am getting sick and tired of society putting homosexuality into a good light by not stopping to ask themselves anything that can be regarded as "homophobic".

why isn't there a counterpart to the word "homophobia," and why isn't it considered a problem (or a "condition") for anyone to judge gay people in a favorable light based solely on who they sleep with? how many times have we heard "not that there's anything wrong with that," with regards to homosexuality? how much is it hammered into our thoughts that "it's okay to be gay," and why is "matthew shepard" a household name when names like "jesse dirkhising" are not? it's because matthew shepard's situation wcould elicit sadness and pity and would spawn gay-affirmations from the public, and little jesse's situation would not (jesse was bound, drugged, tortured and raped by gay people...come to think of it, matthew's murder was more about meth than men. it seems that gay people love their drugs and anything that gets them away from their semi-charmed kinds of lives).

homophobia. why is it a problem for people to automatically think bad things about "men" who lust for masculinity, why isn't it a problem for people to automatically think good things about these masculivoids?

homophobia. it's like gay people got so tired of automatically being put in a bad light, so they all got togeth

Bea W.
Bea W.7 years ago

It is so sad that he felt he had to rant and didn't give any thought about what he did say.

Kristen R.
Kristen R8 years ago

This guy's such an a-hole, why does anyone pay any attention to anything he days? His music sucks, too.

Sarah Lee
Sarah Lee8 years ago

Since when celebrities's apologies are ever sincere, right after they made a fool out of themselves.

Elaine Dixon
Elaine Dixon9 years ago

Don't like his music, and now I don't like him, and filthy mouth. Hopefully now no one will buy his records and he will go broke...

Brigitte G.
Brigitte G9 years ago

I dont really think anyone needs to read about what John Mayer spews. I dont think he is evil, just dumb and extremely immature. I think there is a bit of a paradox; he wants to fit in and also to be the sort of rebel-istic celebrity that most people fawn over. I believe he is talented but, unfortunately, that goes by the wayside when he behaves as ridiculously as he has.

Rex J.
Rex J9 years ago

Never liked his music and the apology was a "Cover his own ass" thing.

Joey Em
Joey Em9 years ago

The man is just an inbred idiot!
His claim to fame is Jessica Simpson, another inbred idiot!
To most of the world he is John Who?

Ruth H.
Ruth H9 years ago

agree with James S. all that comes across here is narcissism and a massively over inflated ego.