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Tom Jones under fire for controversial comments about homosexuality

Tom Jones is under fire for his controversial comments on homosexuality, after he spoke of his past 'paranoia' about working with gay men.

The Welsh-born singer, 75, looked back on his career in music and recalled his nerves about working with 'homosexuals'. His comments provoked a backlash on Twitter, with Tom pleading with fans to bear in mind the historical 'context'.

In an interview with The Big Issue, he said: “I was ready for most aspects of the music industry but when I met the producer Joe Meek, that threw me off a bit. Because he was a homosexual.

“I thought, wait a minute, is the London scene, the people who run British show business – are there a lot of homosexuals involved here? Because if so, I’m going back to Cardiff.”

He continued: “When I signed with Decca and Peter Sullivan became my manager… he said the same thing Joe Meek said: ‘Tell the boys to pack their gear up, I want to talk to you myself.’

“I said: ‘You’re not one of these queer fellows are you?’ And he said: ‘What are you on about?’ I became paranoid, you see.”

The Delilah singer added: “I wondered, was that required to make a hit record? But then I got into it and I realised no, it just so happened that the first guy to record me was a homosexual producer.

“Once I got over the shock of that, and realised it wasn’t true, most people were normal. Well, I shouldn’t put it like that. Homosexuals are normal, it’s not that they’re not normal. It’s just that they are what they are.”

The controversial comments provoked a backlash on Twitter.

Oh dear. Outdated views to match outdated music: #tomjones #homophobia

— James Ferguson (@jamesferguson92) October 23, 2015

 

Tom Jones has said gay people aren't normal. Someone needs to tell him that, in this day and age, It's Not Unusual to be loved by anyone.

— Salford Stands Up (@SalfordStandsUp) October 22, 2015

 

@RealSirTomJones Shame on you for your recent comments, Tom. #bigot

— Neil Ireland (@neiljireland) October 22, 2015

 

It seems #TomJones has put his foot in it again! It's ok didn't like him anyway!

— elizabeth jameson (@gordonlebear) October 23, 2015

 

Lost ALL respect for Tom Jones!!! What an absolute small minded, ignorant creature! #tomjones #homophobic

— Dario Silcock (@DarioSilcock) October 23, 2015

 

The singer replied to criticism, urging fans to bear in mind that this took place in the context of the 50s and 60s:

Context! The story is about knowledge/attitudes in the 50s & 60s. it's called History!

— Tom Jones (@RealSirTomJones) October 22, 2015

 

And many fans expressed their support:

@RealSirTomJones as a gay guy I get it @RealSirTomJones it was a different era and you had a lot to learn. Well done for admitting it

— Paul Sheppard (@PaulJSheppard) October 22, 2015

 

So, Tom Jones talked about how he felt about gay folk a hundred years ago and he's gettin slated like it's now ? Get over yourselves clowns

— *Uncanny Annie (@rumdu2) October 23, 2015

 

@RealSirTomJones as a gay man I have no problem with what you said! I guess that's because I can understand context!

— Adam George (@applegleek) October 23, 2015

 

I don't think it's fair to attack @RealSirTomJones over his comments about gay people. Those views have clearly changed since the 60s

— Lee (@Hotdesigner) October 22, 2015

 

@RealSirTomJones I know – and I understand. But please, take advice from people and block things like that. Doesn't represent you well!

— Jeremy Skyrme (@DrSkyrme) October 22, 2015