Janelle Monáe walked back a "joke" she made on Twitter.com about improving voter turnout in the Black community. The 33-year-old Sagittarius took note of the hysteria surrounding the Popeyes chicken sandwich viral marketing campaign that targeted Black people in poor communities.
The viral campaign was so successful that long lines wrapped around stores and customers fought for the last spicy chicken sandwich.
Janelle was among those who criticized Black customers for standing in line for hours waiting for something they could easily make in their own kitchens. She wondered why they won't keep that same energy at the voting booth during the presidential elections.
"Perhaps we put voting booths at every Popeyes location?. While we wait on that sammich you can register and vote @popeyes holla," she tweeted.
The backlash from those same Popeyes customers was swift.
Many reminded Janelle that Black voter turnout made a difference in Georgia, Alabama and other southern states during local elections.
Black women, specifically, were responsible for keeping Republican Roy Moore - aka Trump 2.0 - out of the Senate in Alabama in 2017.
"Janelle monáe basically said that you chicken eating coons dont care about voting. Yikes," tweeted one upset user.
After realizing the consequences of criticizing Popeyes customers who also buy her music, the singer apologized for her comments.
"You know, when other people say things on here that are wrong or misguided, I wonder, 'why don't they just admit they're wrong and learn from it.' So I'm going to do that now.
You know, when other people say things on here that are wrong or misguided, I wonder, “why don’t they just admit they’re wrong and learn from it.” So I’m going to do that now.
— Janelle Monáe, Cindi (@JanelleMonae) August 26, 2019
"I think the tweets that I posted about registering and voting were insensitive and wrong—specifically they ignored the very real issues of voter suppression that have impacted my community for years and me directly.
"Thanks to all of you for calling me out (or in) and helping me remember and refocus on the bigger issues. I love y'all. Keep teaching one another. Never be afraid to be wrong. Never be afraid to listen and learn."