Carlos Santana, 76, was slammed by people on social media after a video of him making anti-trans comments went viral on Aug. 24. During the concert, which was held in New Jersey last month, the guitarist gave a speech about what people should and shouldn’t do in public. “When God made you and me, before we came out of the womb, you know who you are and what you are,” he said. “Later on, when you grow out of it, you see things, and you start believing that you could be something that sounds good, but you know it ain’t right.”
Carlos Santana goes on anti-trans rant during New Jersey concert:
“When God made you and me, before we came out of the womb, you know who you are and what you are… a woman is a woman and a man is a man.” pic.twitter.com/fss8d4qukK
— Pop Base (@PopBase) August 24, 2023
After the crowd cheered him on in the clip, Carlos added that “a woman is a woman and a man is a man — that’s it.” He continued and stated that he doesn’t care what people do, as long it is in private behind closed doors. “Whatever you wanna do in the closet, that’s your business. I’m OK with that,” the 76-year-old said. He then claimed that he is “like this” with comedian Dave Chappelle, as he gestured with his hands side-by-side. The 50-year-old also came under fire for making anti-trans comments in recent years. Carlos even called Dave his “brother” during the speech.
Soon after the video of him at the concert went viral, many of his fans took to social media to react to the anti-trans remarks. “Such a legendary artist having to spread this hate for what :(,” one admirer tweeted, while another quipped, “Literally would’ve left the concert right there and demanded a refund.” A separate Twitter user noted that Carlos is “over,” while another clapped back that he, “Never started.”
Following the backlash online, Carlos released a statement to TMZ on Aug. 24 to apologize for the remarks. “I am sorry for my insensitive comments. They don’t reflect that I want to honor and respect all person’s ideals and beliefs,” he said. “I realize that what I said hurt people and that was not my intent. I sincerely apologize to the transgender community and everyone I offended.” He also released a separate statement to Billboard that same day, clarifying what his “goal” of the speech was.
“Here is my personal goal that I strive to achieve every day. I want to honor and respect all person’s ideals and beliefs whether they are LGBTQ or not,” he penned in the note. “This is the planet of free will and we have all been given this gift. I will now pursue this goal to be happy and have fun, and for everyone to believe what they want and follow in your hearts without fear. It takes courage to grow and glow in the light that you are and to be true, genuine, and authentic. We grow and learn to shine our light with Love and compliments. Have a glorious existence. Peace.” His statements come on the heels of anti-trans legislation in the U.S., including some states that wish to ban gender affirming health care for teens.