Following Måns Zelmerlöw‘s landslide victory at Melodifestivalen 2015, the champagne flowed. So too did accusations that the “Heroes” singer is homophobic. We’re here to say he isn’t — and to throw our support behind the man who may soon conquer Eurovision.
The kerfuffle goes back to March 2014 when Måns appeared on the popular TV programme “Pluras kök“, during which a group of celebrities gather to eat dinner with the host and have it all recorded. Måns found himself in a debate about homosexuality. He explained that “it isn’t equally natural for men to want to sleep with one another” and called homosexuality an “avvikelse”, which can best be translated as an abnormality. He quickly qualified the statement, saying “there isn’t anything wrong with it at all.”
That didn’t convince everyone. Following anger from some prominent members of the LGBT community, including BWO singer Alexander Bard, Måns issued several apologies. The basic gyst is this: He was talking “abnormal” in the statistical sense. But when you’ve had a few drinks and are being filmed, it’s easy to stumble over one’s words.
We published an article — which included his public apology — on March 23, 2014. Since then Måns has more than atoned for his slip of the tongue, and the Swedish public has moved on. See, for instance, this explanation of the situation from Swedish journalist Hanna Fahl. The conclusion? Måns had a bad night on the show and could have been more precise with his language, but all is forgiven.
wiwibloggs had long forgotten about this episode, and we haven’t shared the story on any of our social media networks. Yet in recent days Eurovision and Melfest fans have been sharing the story in various forums and message boards. And that led a number of British newspapers and magazines — first the Pink News, and then the Independent and Attitude — to jump on board. Our article has the publication date — March 23, 2014 —clearly flagged at the top. In an update to the story we explain that this is no longer news. And the title even says he apologised. But in most instances, people aren’t clocking that. Some readers are acting as if this happened recently, and most people are forgetting that Måns has apologised (repeatedly) and been forgiven. Our article was not the end point of this story, but rather one moment along the way.
Some have suggested that we should delete our article. We’re not going to do that, as you don’t just delete history because it’s unpleasant. However, we will shout this from the rafters: Måns Zelmerlöw is not a homophobe. Three of us — all of whom are very L, G, B, or T — met up with Måns recently at a Stockholm shopping mall. He came off as englightened, warm, open-minded and generally lovely. We can smell a homophobe a mile away. Måns isn’t among them.