NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, February 21, 2016, 5:29 PM
Alternative artist Rob Thomas is now singing the blues after his inadvertent “racist” joke at Saturday’s concert in Australia led to a wave of backlash from fans.
The “Lonely No More” singer “sat in (his) room and cried” after he learned why fans in Melbourne booed him for joking he wanted to “drink till I think I’m Australian … and then keep drinking till I’m a black Australian” during his flight to the Land Down Under.
Many took that as a harsh dig at Aboriginal Australians, but Thomas insists he had no intention of offending people with his ill-informed joke.
“I did not intend to make a joke about race,” he wrote on Facebook on Sunday. “I have seen people comment that after coming here for so long I should know that there is a connection between the indigenous peoples of Australia and a stereotype involving drinking. Embarrassingly, I truly didn’t.”
He then contended that he was simply trying to quip that he drank so much, he turned into something he was not – and that he simply used an unfortunate choice of words.
“I didn’t know until TODAY that just the phrase ‘black Australian’ was racist all on its own,” he wrote. I sat in my room and I cried when I found out.”
The 44-year-old rocker furthered his clarification by saying there was no “malice” whatsoever, and that the ill-informed joke was supposed to only be made at his expense.
Thomas has seven more shows remaining during the Australian leg of his tour.
He then wrapped his statement with a formal apology, before promising he would make things right in the subsequent shows in Australia on his “The Great Unknown” tour.
“I am truly sorry for how this came across, most of all to the indigenous people here,” he said. “Australia has been so good to me for so long that I’m embarrassed I don’t know more about the history and the culture.”
Many fans appeared to accept his apology in the comment section with one woman in particular writing that after being highly disappointed by the singer’s remarks, she was delighted that he’s choosing to right his mistake by learning more about Aboriginal culture.
“Thank you for listening, and for being honest, remorseful and open to learning,” wrote Carlay Findlay, drawing a “thank you” from Thomas in the comment section.
Thomas has seven shows remaining in Australia between now and March 6, with his next concert taking place in Canberra on Monday.