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Country singer Blake Shelton posted an unfunny joke to Twitter on Wednesday -- and now he's being accused of gay-bashing. Shelton, a popular judge on the new NBC hit The Voice, tweeted that he was "rewriting" his favorite Shania Twain song. He then posted these new lyrics to Twain's song "Any Man of Mine":
Any man that tries
Touching my behind
He's gonna be a beaten, bleedin', heaving kind of guy...
When fans accused Shelton, 34, of homophobia, his mocking response only fanned the flames. "Ba! Ha! Reading all my anti-gay hate tweets," Shelton tweeted hours later. "Ha! Ha! If people only knew even a little about me, my family and friends. Dumb a**es..."
Shortly afterward, the gay rights group GLAAD chimed in, sending Shelton (and NBC) a tweet that said, "No, @BlakeShelton - violent, anti-gay statements are not what a woman wants. Apologize now."
Suddenly, the light bulb seemed to go on for Shelton, who explained that his rewrite was intended to be from Shania's female point of view, not his own.
"Oooohhhhh.... I get it now!!!!!" Shelton wrote Thursday on Twitter. "Hey y'all allow me to seriously apologize for the misunderstanding with the whole re-write on the Shania song last night... It honestly wasn't even meant that way... I now know that their are people out there waiting to jump at everything I say on here or anywhere. But when it comes to gay/lesbian rights or just feelings... I love everybody. So go look for a real villain and leave me out of it!!!"
He also tweeted a message to GLAAD, saying that he wanted his fans "to know that anti-gay and lesbian violence is unacceptable," and hoped the organization would help him spread the message.
So has Shelton been forgiven? The homophobia accusation honestly looks like a big misunderstanding to us, and he did apologize. And one of Shelton's pals emphasizes to US Weekly that the singer's joke was completely misconstrued. "Blake is so not a homophobe. He really meant that from the perspective on Shania -- it was just meant to be a jibe about someone grabbing her a**. He feels awful," says the friend. "He's the nicest, sweetest and most down-to-earth guy. He's extremely gay friendly. The man loves the Golden Girls!"
Shelton's soft spot for Blanch and co. aside, this is not the first time he has been accused of making homophobic remarks; in April, he made a tasteless Brokeback Mountain joke about Jake Gyllenhaal during the Country Music Awards. Still, it sounds like Shelton's heart really is in the right place; he just needs some practice in the art of thinking before he speaks -- especially since there are no fewer than four openly gay contestants on The Voice.