Adam Levine: American Idol’s closeting of gay contestants “always pissed me off”

The Voice coach and Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine has criticized American Idol for refusing to do what his series did easily and without difficultly: letting gay contestants be open about their sexual orientations.

In an interview with Out magazine, Adam discusses The Voice‘s Fox rival, giving it credit but noting that it’s very different from his NBC series: “I can’t fuck with American Idol. It’s a cultural institution. On The Voice, we just care about a different list of things. It’s for a different type of person, I guess.”

But he’s very critical of American Idol‘s closeting of gay contestants: “What’s always pissed me off about Idol is wanting to mask that, for that to go unspoken. C’mon. You can’t be publicly gay? At this point? On a singing competition? Give me a break. You can’t hide basic components of these people’s lives. The fact that The Voice didn’t have any qualms about being completely open about it is a great thing.”

He also said that he thinks The Voice might help combat the music industry’s homophobia by simply bypassing its roadblocks: “If you’re a talented person, and you want a career, and you’re trying to join an extremely intimidating and also completely dismantled industry — skip all that other bullshit, and go for what can be immediately effective.”

Adam offers some context for those comments by also discussing his gay brother (“I can single-handedly dispel any ideas that sexuality is acquired. Trust me, you’re born with it. My brother is gay, and we knew when he was two. We all knew.”) and rails against those who try to change their gay kids (“I’ve got news for you–it’s a losing fucking battle. The more you fight it, the more fucked-up your kid’s gonna be.”)

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