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Brian May made some recent comments regarding “cancel culture” and diversity that went viral, but the Queen guitarist has since released a statement railing against the “press hacks” that “subtly twisted” his words.

May was quoted by U.K.’s The Mirror regarding a new change to the BRIT Awards that will see an end to gendered awards categories in favor of gender-neutral categories. Among May’s reported comments were him saying Queen wouldn’t be considered a diverse band today noting, “We would be forced to have people of different colors and different sexes and we would have to have a trans [person]. You know life doesn’t have to be like that. We can be separate and different.” May was also quoted saying, “I worry about cancel culture. I think some of it is good but it also brings bad things and injustices. We think in different ways but they weren’t necessarily worse ways.”

After his comments went viral, May then took to his Instagram to issue a statement saying, “Yes – I was ambushed and completely stitched up by a journalist at the recent ITV event. And it’s led to a whole mess of press stories making it look like I’m unfriendly to trans people. Nothing could be further from the truth. My words were subtly twisted. I should have known better than to talk to those predatory Press hacks.”

May continued, “Sincere apologies to anyone who has been hurt by the stories. My heart is open as always to humans of all colors, all creeds, all sexes and sexualities, all shapes and sizes – and all creatures. We all deserve respect and an equal place in this world. And my grateful thanks to all of you who stepped up to defend me in the last couple of days. It means so much that you have faith in me.”

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Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.