South African R&B and pop singer Danny K, real name Daniel Koppel, has apologised for an insensitive comment he tweeted about transgender and intersex people.
When registering on the Google+ social network last weekend, the 33-year-old star was asked to select his gender and was given the option of “male”, “female” or “other”.
Commenting on these gender options on Twitter, Koppel asked: “OTHER #wtf is OTHER”.
He was then messaged by a number of outraged Twitter followers who accused him of being insensitive towards trans and intersex people.
In response, he tweeted a follow-up message: “Apologies – have removed tweet, never meant anything by it, was temp brain freeze – not my style to judge others.”
On Monday, Koppel spoke on the Outspoken LGBT radio show, broadcast on Radio Today, and again apologised for his comment.
“I know that some people took offence to the fact that I wrote ‘WTF does other mean…’ It really was a question of me not realising that ‘other’ refers to a transgender issue. It didn’t even come to my mind that that was what it was referring to,” he said.
“I didn’t need to be hit with a barrage of tweets to apologise. As soon as I saw one it immediately came to my attention that it’s obviously a very sensitive topic and its something that activists have campaigned quite hard to include, like in Google’s gender selection… and it was a bit of an eye-opener for me…”
Koppel insisted that he’s always been very passionate about the pursuit of human rights and equality. “I think that the track record of my career and the things I’ve said speaks to that,” he added.
When host Simone Heradien commented that Koppel’s father, who is also his manager, had told her earlier that his son has a lot of gay and lesbian friends, he responded that “it’s hard not have gay and lesbian friends in this day and age. I don’t really see it as something exceptional”.
“Over the course of my career I’ve been very lucky to have had gay fans. It’s been no secret that the gay community really embraced me,” he said.
Koppel has featured on the South African music charts numerous times, has produced five studio albums and has performed on the Oprah Winfrey show. He also won numerous titles as one of South Africa’s sexiest and most stylish men.