The surfacing of archived tweets containing homophobic sentiments by a slew of South African celebrities has opened dialogues about the toxic heterosexist landscape of the local entertainment business.
Just days after her first ever Hip Hop joint set the streets ablaze and earned the media-personality-turned-rapper her first number one on iTunes, Boity has had to apologise for homophobic remarks she tweeted almost a decade ago. She also acknowledged that while her views have changed along with her growth, she used to be quite the outspoken homophobe back then.
The apology comes after a series of old homophobic tweets resurfaced. She was only 19 years old when she vented her hateful spleen towards the queer community, but she has grown a lot over the years. Her views on sexuality were “warped” back then, but she knows better now.
Tweeted Boity amid backlash; “A decade ago, I was naive, homophobic, young and didn’t know better”, she explained. ” I was 19 and my views on sexuality were warped. We grow, our views change and we do better. It’s gut-wrenching and embarrassing to see them now however I am not the same person I was 10 years ago.”
She proceeded to apologise to everyone she has hurt in the old tweets.
The tweets in question were published over different occasions. In one, she is upset by what she perceives to be a surge in the representation of black gay male romance in local TV soapies.
In another scathing tweet, she leaves no shred of doubt about how she feels about the queer community.
Boity’s apology was met with further debates about the unaddressed homophobia that goes on unchecked in the South African entertainment business.
Despite increasing visibility, what with the likes of Somizi and, amongst other Nakhane Toure proudly shining the spotlight on the existence of gay people in the creative industry, there’s no doubt the business remains rigidly heterosexist.
Tweets allegedly published on Nadia Nakai and Rouge’s Twitter years ago have also attracted some interest, but the two rappers are yet to take actual ownership. That remains to be seen.
While polarising, Boity’s apology has been embraced by many as a good start at acknowledging the pain she has caused many people. She herself was young at the time, and how many of us wish we could have expressed ourselves differently ten years ago.