Pop Culture

Nick Jonas Won't Apologize For Post-Orlando Stonewall Controversy

“I wouldn’t change a thing," said Jonas about his controversial appearance at an Orlando vigil.

To me, Nick Jonas is an exploitation artist, plain and simple. As a conventionally attractive straight, white man he has amassed a considerable following of LGBT fans and panders to them on every possible occasion, employing rhetoric that is both condescending and insulting. Jonas has done nothing positive for the LGBT community other than offer platitudes about love and pictures of his mostly-naked body. 

The internet has dubbed this strategy "gay-baiting" or "queerbaiting," which are nice buzzwordy terms that can be defined as the usage of gay/queer characters, styles, aesthetics, and themes for the purposes of attracting gay/queer fans (and dollars) without having any actual interest in the nuances of gay or queer culture, identity, or (most importantly) safety.

Jonas has spoken about accusations of gay-baiting before: “It’s not the majority, but a large handful have a negative opinion [of me] for whatever reason,” he said, “and I think it’s really quite sad.” 

"Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion," he blithely added.


But Jonas' gay-baiting reached its zenith when the entertainer spoke at a vigil for the LGBT people slain in Orlando only days after the massacre occurred, a move that drew widespread criticism from activists and internet commenters alike. "[T]his is not a time for straight allies to take up space — especially if you’re an ally who just dropped an album three days ago," wrote Huffpo Queer Voices Deputy Editor JamesMichael Nichols. "Let us have the grief that is specifically ours. Of course, we welcomed straight people at the vigil, but to listen, not to speak. Let us hold each other, look one another in the eyes and tell each other it’s going to be OK. Because unless you’ve ever had to internalize queer pain, there is really no way for you to know exactly how this feels, or what we need to hear."

Now, Jonas is addressing his Stonewall controversy head on, and he isn't showing any signs of remorse. “I wouldn’t change a thing,” he said in an interview with Billboard. “That’s a moment — and in general the time we’re in in this country — where unity, support and raising our hand and saying we can make change is what’s important, so it’s a shame when people make it about something else.” (What is he even talking about here? What is "something else" in this context?)

Jonas added: "Of course. Think about my past and where my love for performance comes from -- musical theater. And playing this gay fighter in a very macho world for Kingdom, it requires me digging really deep, and I do it with respect and honor." (Oh good, a tired stereotype about gays and musical theater. Thanks Nick!)

Could this dude have missed the point any more?


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