The star is under fire for his comments about Indigenous Australians after he said, “I keep drinking until I think I’m a black Australian,” during his performance at Rod Laver Arena last night.
The comment came up during a technical glitch mid-show, in relation to the singer’s attempts to cure jet-lag after traveling from New York.
“When you get on the plane, on your way here, you start drinking. I keep drinking until I think I’m Australian. And then I keep drinking until I think I’m a black Australian,” he told the crowd.
The comments faced immediate backlash, with Thomas taking to Facebook this morning to offer an apology,
“After the show in Melbourne tonight while backstage with some of my Australian friends, it was brought to my attention that I said something that is racist and insensitive,” he wrote.
“Please understand that although it is no excuse, I was completely unaware that in Australia there is a polarising social issue happening right now involving indigenous people and alcohol.
“When I was made aware of it, the ground fell out beneath me, and I realised that people may now see me as the exact opposite of who I am.”
Rob wanted fans and those offended to know his apology was deeply heartfelt.
The audience did not receive the comments well. One patron in attendance noted, “The fans were not impressed. Most booed, some laughed.” That was what Paul Cashmere, music journalist, wrote on his website Noise11.
“It was a stupid thing for Rob Thomas, a frequent visitor to Australia, to say. He is not a first time visitor who should be ignorant of Australian history and culture,” Cashmere added.
Watch Rob on Studio 10 last year: