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Carson Daly Issues Mea Culpa for Homophobic Remarks

Carson Daly
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Television and radio personality Carson Daly, who hosts NBC’s ‘The Voice,’ doesn’t normally make headlines for being insensitive, but some comments he made on his radio show Wednesday got him in a lot of trouble with the gay community. And after the mother of a notable gay man took him to task, Daly sent out a public apology.

Reacting to the news earlier this week that several passengers restrained a JetBlue pilot who freaked out mid-flight, Daly joked if he’d been on the plane, he wouldn’t have been so lucky.

“Most of [the passengers] were on their way to some sort of security conference in Las Vegas … it was like a bunch of … well-trained dudes, thank God,” Daly said. “With my luck, it would be like, ‘This is the flight going to [the gay pride parade] in San Francisco … ‘Uh, we’re headed down to Vegas for the floral convention.’”

His comments landed with a thud in GLBT circles, but Alice Hoagland — whose gay son Mark Bingham was part of the group of passengers who famously charged United Flight 93′s hijacked cockpit on 9/11 — issued a beautifully-written statement that only a mother could make.

It said in part:

“Yes, [Mark] was known in our family for bringing me flowers on my birthday and Mother’s Day. He also was known for careening down the rugby pitch, and, on the morning of September 11, 2001, for charging unarmed down the aisle of a doomed Boeing 757.

“No one among his … team of fellow passengers was asking, ‘Are you straight? Are you gay?’ … The world has its share of strong, heroic gay men. Gay men in sports uniforms and military uniforms have been winning America’s games and fighting America’s battles for a long time: quietly, humbly, and in the face of vicious bigotry.”

She ended her missive by speaking directly to Daly, saying, “I hope you and I may have an opportunity to talk sometime. I prefer to believe you didn’t mean to offend. Good luck to you.”

Within a few hours, Daly sent a contrite letter of apology to GLAAD, a gay rights group, in which he said:

“We live in a time where gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals find courage every day to overcome adversity, stand up to bullying and find equality. I’m truly saddened that my words today suggested otherwise … I’ve long been a supporter of Gay and Lesbian rights, and I’m saddened that my comments, however unintentional, offended anyone, specifically members of the LGBT community … I’m not that guy. I’m proud to be an ally of the LGBT community and will continue to fight with them.”

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