Update: Comedian Randy Rainbow apologized on Thursday afternoon after old tweets resurfaced online in which he uses racist and transphobic language.
In an interview with The Advocate magazine, he said that the decade-old tweets were made in his “maiden quest to be funny.” Rainbow further explained, “I am incredibly sorry. I would never intentionally do anything to hurt anyone. I learned many years ago, over the last decade, that there are things that you must be sensitive about. There are issues that I was not aware of back then. In 2010, we weren’t anywhere near where we are now.”
He insisted he has never been racist or transphobic. “I’m a gay Jew who was brought up in a very open, accepting family,” he told the magazine. “There is not a racist or intolerant bone in my body. When I say that I have evolved with the times, I mean that my comedy has. I did not need to be taught not to be racist or transphobic because I never was.”
Rainbow, who identifies as gay, is most well-known for his parody songs and political spoofs targeting Donald Trump. Though much of his content comes from his YouTube channel, he appeared on an episode of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” in 2018 and was nominated for an Emmy award for outstanding short form variety series in 2019 and 2020.
However, a spreadsheet circulating on Twitter, containing over 60 now-deleted tweets mainly from 2010 and 2011, has greatly disappointed many of his fans. In the tweets, Rainbow frequently uses stereotypes of Black, Latino, Asian, Jewish, transgender and lesbian people as punchlines.
Rainbow wrote at least 20 tweets portraying Black people in a negative light, often generalizing that they were rowdy, dangerous criminals.
Rainbow also retweeted a tweet from rapper Kanye West in which he used the n-word, writing above it “U sound like my grandmother!”
Latinos were also referred to as lazy criminals. In one painful attempt at ironic humor, Rainbow wrote: “Thank god I’m not Mexican, or all this laziness of mine might elicit some offensive ethnic stereotyping. People can be cruel.”
Rainbow also made fun of Asian people, specifically pointing out their small stature, and even commenting on the size of their penises.
Lastly, Rainbow often dehumanized his fellow members of the LGBTQ+ community, using the offensive word “tranny” to describe a transgender person and furthering stereotypes of masculine lesbians. In one particularly offensive instance, Rainbow wrote: “If I coulda been, I woulda been. And that’s transgenderism.”