Lithuanian producer Ten Walls has issued a public statement apologising for homophobic comments he made in June.
The dance music DJ posted a homophobic outburst on his Facebook wall earlier this year, with Creamfields and a number of other festivals later removing the artist from their line-ups as a result.
The original post by Ten Walls recalled a moment from his past when a fellow Lithuanian musician tried to convince him to be more tolerant. “When I asked him ‘What would you do if you realised that your 16-year-old son’s browny [anus] is ripped by his boyfriend?’ Well he was silent,” Ten Walls wrote. He later talked about “the good 90s,” in a comment, “when these people of different breed [were] fixed”.
The controversy led to Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite commenting on the issue, stating that Ten Walls’ words had opened dialogue over alleged intolerance in the country.
Now, the musician has posted a lengthy response to the incident. In his apology, published by DJ Mag, he states that he “deeply regrets” his comments and aims to “educate others on acceptance and tolerance” by working on an “electronic opera” with a LGBT message.
Ten Walls writes, “Earlier this year I posted comments on my Facebook page that I deeply regret. My post was linked to homophobia and was very offensive. I am ashamed to have hurt so many people: my family, my country, my colleagues, my friends, the Global LGBT community and many others. Since then I have taken time out to reflect on what I did and work out a way of apologising that expresses how sorry I am.”
“I am saddened by my own behaviour and the impact of my actions on others. I offended a lot of people, was the cause of horrible debates, wrecked both my own and the confidence of others and ruined the plans for many people I was working with. Understandably, I was labeled homophobic and I am not and never have considered myself to be this way. I have to tell you that my action was completely out of character and done at a particularly angry and stressful time in my life. This is not an excuse, but I would like you to know that the content of my post is not a true reflection of my feelings. For many years I have been happily working and collaborating with people from different cultures, religious and sexual attitudes. I have always respected everyone.”
“My post made no sense, even to me. I’m a musician. My music is for everyone in this world. I always try to unite people to promote respect, equality and tolerance, love and peace. It is my priority as a music maker, in music there is no space for discrimination. It is my intention to do something in my home country of Lithuania, to support LGBT groups and educate others on acceptance and tolerance. I am now part of a group of people who have created an electronic opera ‘Carmen’ with a strong message of this. I hope my involvement in this project will be the first step to educating others in my home country that homophobia is simply not acceptable and that everyone should be free to live the life they choose.”
“I am sorry for what I have done. I am sorry I let myself down. I hope you can forgive me and that one day through my actions and future behaviour, I will once again be accepted for my music.”