R&B singer Ginuwine has been launched into a storm of controversy over what’s being branded as “transphobic” behavior because he refused to kiss a transgender woman on a reality show.
On a recent episode of “Celebrity Big Brother UK,” Ginuwine was asked by fellow housemate India Willoughby, who is transgender woman, whether he would date her.
"I'm a woman, right. Forget about any 't's, or anything in front of it. I’m just a woman, okay? So, on that score, you would date me, wouldn't you?" Willoughby asked.
"Not if you told me you was trans," Ginuwine said.
"No, no, I'm not telling you I'm trans," Willoughby insisted. "I'm a woman."
"A woman? Yeah,” Ginuwine said.
Willoughby then tried to kiss Ginuwine, but he rejected her advances.
The episode has sparked a debate over what it means to be “transphobic” with some on Twitter saying the singer was transphobic, because he has a sexual preference that does not include transgender people.
New York City’s Power 105.1 radio show host Charlamagne defended Ginuwine, saying Willoughby’s attempt to force him to kiss her should be considered sexual harassment just like it would if a woman were forced or pressured to kiss someone against their will.
“Now we are in the midst of a cultural revolution with Time’s Up, Me Too. Women are rebelling against sexual assault, sexual harassment, unwanted sexual advances in the workplace. Now, what I saw in this video was a man and a woman at work having a conversation and then the conversation took an inappropriate turn, because India Willoughby made an unwanted sexual advance toward Ginuwine,” Charlamagne said.
“Let’s switch the roles. What would the conversation be if Ginuwine mid-conversation tried to put his arms around a woman, tried to kiss her, and then when he was rejected, tried to shame said woman and make the woman feel bad for rejecting her?” he said.
“What if the optics were different? I thought that’s what we were trying to eliminate across the board. Is that not the reason people are wearing black as a show of solidarity against that kind of behavior? I don’t care what gender a person is. Right is right, and wrong is wrong. You can’t go around trying to kiss on whoever you want, whenever you want, regardless of what your gender is, period,” Charlamagne added.
“Was Ginuwine not being sexually harassed on TV? Was Ginuwine not being sexually assaulted on TV? Yes, he was. And if someone tries to hug you and kiss you, and you don’t want them to hug you and kiss you, you can reject their advances, and making someone believe they can’t reject your advances because they will receive backlash, then that is exactly why there is a Time’s Up movement and a Me Too movement going on right now,” he added.