Pop idol Kelly Clarkson has made a reputation for herself as an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights throughout her career. “It always makes me feel sad when someone from the LGBTQ community comes up and says, ‘Thank you so much for being supportive,’” she wrote in a love letter to the community published by Billboard last June. “It shouldn’t be this rare, unique thing. It should be a no-brainer to lift, and support everyone, in every community.”
One of Clarkson’s eliminated team members from The Voice, however, called the singer out for what she claimed was a “small minded” comment. In a now-deleted Instagram post, openly gay singer Molly Stevens said that when Clarkson compared her voice to that of Melissa Etheridge and the Indigo Girls, she felt she was being put in a box.
.@mollystevens_1 I think you need to apologize to @kelly_clarkson . She has Always supported the gay community. As a fan & a gay man I am offended! Sounds like a bit of a sore loser way to go about things!! @NBCTheVoice @AtlanticRecords @GMA @CNN @billboard @MTVNews @TODAYshow pic.twitter.com/BQioGj087J
— Philip R Leodoro (@PhilipRLeodoro) March 27, 2018
“While I’m extremely honored to be in that category of talent I do believe that comment did us all a disservice and only threw us into a labeling trap,” she wrote in the post. “It felt small minded to me and exactly what I feel we need to bring attention to the world.”
Clarkson decided to defend herself after the contestant posted her comments. Retweeting a fan who posted a screenshot of Stevens’ post, the pop star said that the eliminated contestant’s comments were missing key pieces of information and context.
Wow. This really bums me out. I need everyone 2 hear me & hear ALL OF THE WORDS I SAY. I compared Molly to Melissa Etheridge, Patty Griffin (a name that was left out conveniently), & the Indigo Girls purely because of the rasp in her voice & that she’s an amazing storyteller. https://t.co/Ci5fqDKzA3
— Kelly Clarkson (@kelly_clarkson) March 27, 2018
“Wow. This really bums me out,” Clarkson wrote. “I need everyone 2 hear me & hear ALL OF THE WORDS I SAY. I compared Molly to Melissa Etheridge, Patty Griffin (a name that was left out conveniently), & the Indigo Girls purely because of the rasp in her voice & that she’s an amazing storyteller.”
Stevens has since apologized to Clarkson on Twitter, saying that while it was not her intention to hurt the star. “I strive to live in truth and light,” she wrote. “@kelly_clarkson I truly apologize for thinking differently.”
Watch Stevens’ final performance on The Voice below: