Cee Lo Green, the Grammy Award winning musician, who was rightly called out for saying awful things about rape on Twitter, issued the following half-assed apology for his remarks today:
“Let me 1st praise God for exoneration fairness & freedom! Secondly I sincerely apologize for my comments being taken so far out of context. I only intended on a healthy exchange to help heal those who love me from the pain I had already caused from this. Please forgive me as it..…was your support that got me thru this to begin with. I’d never condone the harm of any women. Thank you.”
So often, when a celebrity says something so stupid that it threatens their public image, and thus their bottom line, they ruin the apology by claiming that their words were “taken out of context.” We all have to contend with being misrepresented at one point or another, but when thousands of people pile on you over something you said, that ought to be a pretty clear indicator that people got what you meant. Ergo, the whole reason the public brings on clap back.
The problem is Cee Lo did in fact condone the harming of women with his remarks, regardless of whatever he thinks. After pleading no contest to charges that he slipped a woman ecstasy without her consent in 2012, Cee Lo wrote, “If someone is passed out they’re not even WITH you consciously.” He went on to add, “People who have really been raped REMEMBER!!!”
Yes, this is exactly how you begin the healing process, Cee Lo: You tell rape victims that unless they remember their rape detail by detail, they were not really raped.
Cee Lo’s lawyer argued that despite the woman’s claim that she woke up in bed next to Cee Lo and was unsure of what happened the night before, the two had “consensual relations.” Ultimately, prosecutors claimed there was a lack of evidence led to no rape charges being filed, though Cee Lo was subsequently sentenced to three years probation along with 45 days of community service. Whatever the case, Cee Lo’s tweets suggest that he’s not learned much from the incident.
For starters, there’s a reason lawyers are hired to address legal complications as opposed to the accused parties: It spares them from saying something so dumb that it damns them to the public. Case in point, Exhibit A from the ATL. What’s most frightening about Cee Lo’s views on rape, though, is that they highlight a lingering problem some men seem to have over what constitutes rape.
Cee Lo, if a woman is unconscious, she cannot give consent to sex. If she does not offer consent and you initiate sexual acts with her anyway, that is still rape. And as far as an act of rape requiring the victim to remember everything goes, well, Cee Lo, if someone drugged you and then chopped your head off, is it any less a slaughter because you were in slumber when it all went down?
Rape does not have to include a person yelling, screaming, and physically fighting off an attacker.
Context is key, but when it comes to Cee Lo, he is not guilty of a misunderstanding. He is at fault for holding on to a very dense definition. Here’s hoping he and others like him will soon get it and be real adults who own their mistakes.