The hip-hop star has been criticised of homophobia in the past, by both LGBT campaigners and musical duo Tegan & Sara. However, Tyler has taken to his official Tumblr page to announce a new piece of merchandise.
The T-shirt in question reappropriates the White Pride World Wide logo, an image popularised by right-wing website Stormfront, with a press shot showing Tyler holding hands with another man.
Posting the picture to Tumblr, Tyler writes: “I asked myself some questions: What if a black guy wore this logo on a shirt? Would he be promoting self hate? Would he be taking the power out of a shape? What if a gay guy wore this on a shirt? Would he promoting Homophobia? Then BAM! I Had it. Throw a little rainbow in the logo (i still wonder, who was the guy that said a rainbow is the gay symbol? thats another article stay tuned) and take a photo with a white guy in it and we have an amazing photo. The thing that tops it off is the homo erotic tone of the hand holding, which to some degree HAS to piss off the guys who takes this logo serious. This made the photo even more important to me, because it was me playing with the idea of taking the power out of something so stupid.”
He adds, “I’m legit one of the least homophobic guys to walk this earth but, most people just read the surface. But maybe someone will see this photo and say ‘hey, he’s just mocking gays’ or ‘this has a negative undertone to it, he is still pushing this homophobic whatever the fuck it is’. What ever it is, i just wanted to give you guys some background info on the design before you purchase the shirt. You should know what you are wearing.”
Tyler has previously responded to the criticism of his use of the word “faggot” in his lyrics, saying, “I have gay fans and they don’t really take it offensive, so I don’t know. If it offends you, it offends you. If you call me a n***a, I really don’t care, but that’s just me, personally. Some people might take it the other way, I personally don’t give a shit.”
The Odd Future member released his surprise album ‘Cherry Bomb’ last month (April 13). Read the NME review.